Skip to main content

Full text of "Some of the pastor's problems [microform]"

See other formats


CIHM 
Microfiche 
Series 
(l\/lonographs) 



ICIVIH 

Collection de 
microfiches 
(monographies) 



lii 




Canadian Inatituta foi Historical Microraproductiona / Institut Canadian da microraproductiona historiquaa 






Technical and Bibliographic Notes / Notes technique et bibliographiques 



The Institute has attempted to obtain the best original 
copy available for filming. Features of this copy which 
may be bibliographioaliy unique, which may alter any of 
the images in the reproduction, or which may 
significantly change the usual method of filming are 
checked below. 



n 

D 

D 
D 
D 

D 

D 

D 

D 

D 



Coloured covers / 
Couverture de couleur 

Covers damaged / 
Couverture endommagee 

Covers restored and/or laminated / 
Couverture restaur^ et/ou pellicula 

Cover title missing / Le litre de couverture manque 

Coloured maps / Cartes geographiques en couleur 

Coloured ink (i.e. other than blue or black) / 
Encre de couleur (i.e. autre que bleue ou noire) 

Coloured plates and/or illustrations / 
PlarKhes et/ou illustrations en couleur 

Bound with other material / 
Rell6 avec d'auties documents 

Only edition available / 
Seule edition disponible 

'''ight binding may cause shadows or distortion 
along interior margin / La reliure serree peut 
causer de I'ombre ou de la distorsion le long de 
la marge interieure. 

Blank leaves added during restorations may appear 
within the text. Whenever possible, these have 
been omitted from fuming / II se peut que certaines 
pages blanches ajout^es lors d'une restauration 
apparaissent dans le texle, mais, kxsque cela 6tait 
possible, ces pages n'ont pas m lilmtes. 



L'Institut a microfilm^ le meilleur examplaire qu'il lui a 
ete possible de se procurer. Les details de cet exem- 
plaire qui sont peut-gtre uniques du point de vue bibli- 
ographique, qui peuvent modifier une image reproduite, 
ou qui peuvent exiger une modifications dans la m^th- 
ode nonmale de filmage sont indiques ci-dessous. 

I I Coloured pages / Pages de couleur 

I I Pages damaged / Pages endommagees 

I I Pages restored and/or laminated / 
' — ' Pages restaur^es et/ou pellicultes 



\^ 



Pages discoloured, stained or foxed / 
Pages d^color^s, tachetees ou piquees 



I I Pages detached / Pages dStachees 

fyl Showthrough / Transparence 

I I Quality of print varies / 

' — ' Qualite inhale de I'impression 

I I Includes supplementary material / 
' — ' Comprend du materiel supplimentaire 

I I Pages wholly or partially obscured by errata 
' — ' slips, tissues, etc., have been refilmed to 
ensure the best possible image / Les pages 
totalement ou partiellement rbscurcies par un 
feuillet d'errata, une pelure, etc., ont 6M filmtes 
h nouveau de fafon a obtenir la meilleure 
image possible. 

I I Opposing pages with varying colouration or 
' — ' discolouratlons are filmed twice to ensure the 
best possible image / Les pages s'opposant 
ayant des colorations variatiles ou des decol- 
orations sont filmdes deux fois afin d'obtenir la 
meilleur Image possible. 



n 



AddWonal comments / 
Commentaims suppl^mentaires: 



Tliii item it fihnad at the rediiclion ratio chackad balow/ 

Ct dociHiMnt ast filma au taux da raductl^n indiqili ci-da*sow. 

iOX 14X 1tX 



sx 



XX 



1 



i«X 



20X 



28 X 



Tha copy filmad hara haa baan raproducad thanks 
to Iha ganaroaitv of: 

National Library of Canada 



L'axamplaira lUmt fut raproduit grica t la 
g*n*rasit* da: 

Blbllothaqua nationals du Canada 



Tha imagaa appaaring hara ara tha batt quality 
poMibIa eonaidaring tha condition and lagibility 
of tha original copy and in kaaping with tha 
filming contract apscificationa. 



Original coplaa in printad papar eovara ara fllmad 
baginning with tha front covar and ar\ding on 
tha laat paga with a printad or illuatratad Impraa- 
aion. or tha back covar whan appropriata. All 
othar original copiaa ara fllmad baginning on tho 
first paga with a printad or illuatratad impraa- 
sion, and anding on tha laat paga with a printad 
or illuatratad impra&aien. 



Tha laat racordad frama on aach microficha 
ahall conuin tha aymboi — ^ I moaning "CON- 
TINUED"), or tha symbol V (moaning "END"), 
whichovar appliaa. 

Mapa, plataa. eharta, ate. may ba fllmad at 
diffarant raduction ratios. Thosa too iarga to ba 
antiraly includad in ona aiposurs ara fllmad 
baginning in tha uppar laft hand cornar. laft to 
right and top to bottom, as many framaa aa 
raqulrad. Tha following diagrams illustrata tha 
mathod: 



Las imagaa suivantas ont M raproduitat avac la 
plus grand soin. eompta tanu da la condition at 
da la nsttat* da l'axamplaira filmt. at an 
eonformit* avac laa conditiona du contrat da 
fllmaga. 

Laa axamplairaa orlginaux dont la couvartura an 
paplar aat ImprimAa sont filmis an commancant 
par la pramlar plat tt an tarminant soit par la 
darnlAra paga qui comporta una amprainta 
d'impraaalon ou d'iiiuBtration. soit par la sacond 
plat, salon la caa. Tous las autras axamplairaa 
originaux sont fllmts an commanfani par la 
pramitra paga qui comporta una amprainta 
d'impraaalon ou d'illuatratlon at an tarminant par 
la darnitra paga qui comporta una talla 
amprainta. 

Un daa aymbolaa suivants apparaitra sur la 
darniira imaga da ehaqua microficha. salon la 
cas: la symbola — » signifia "A SUIVRE". la 
symbola ▼ aignifis "FIN". 

Laa cartaa. planchas, tablaaux. ate. pauvant itra 
fllmto t daa taux da reduction diffirants. 
Lorsqua la documant ast trop grand pour itra 
raproduit an un saul ellch*. II aat film* i partir 
da I'angia supiriaur gaucha. da gaucha k droita, 
at da haut an baa. an pranant la nombra 
d'imagaa nteassaira. Las diagrammas suivants 
illustrant la mOthoda. 



1 


2 


3 




1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 



MICROCOPY WSOLUTION TBT CHART 

(ANSI ond ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




^ /APPLIED IIVMGE In 

^^ 1653 East Main Street 

y^S Rochester. Ne* York 14609 USA 

^= (716) 482 - OJOO - Phone 

^= (716) 28B - 5989 -Fox 




TRAVEi 



Some of the Pastor's 
Problems 



BY 



Rev. M. V. KELLY, C. S. B. 



PL'ULlSHERSi- 

ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE 

TORONTO . . ^.„.„. 



if 



n^\ 



B V-ZOfS 



^c. 



Jwtirtmt {totrat 

FRANCIS FORSTER, C. S. B. 

Sup. Cn. 



imttrtmatur. 



+ N1LUS McNIEL 

Archiipiimpu Ttmnunmii 



To 
Rt. Rev. Alexander M. Donald, D.D., 
Bishop of Hebron, 
Whose Devotion to Ecclesiastical Studies, 
Untiring Zeal and Saintly Life 
Have Been 
For many years 
The Edification of the Canadian Priesthood, 
This Volume 
is 
Affectionately dedicated by 
The Author. 



PREFATORY LETTER OF HIS GRACE 
THE ARCHBISHOP OF REGINA 
Dear Father Kelly: 

It has been a pleasure to read the interestinff 

foTperal'^^YoT"^" ""^^ kindly for^arSf^f 
ll[ ^h ™'^'- '^?"'^ experience in the sacred ministry 

No priest can flatter himself that he loves God 



;S 



I \ 



PREFATORY LETTER 

a holy bishop "the obligation of working to save 

lft\.l '\' t""""" °^ ^'rs fi"t of the seraphim. 
It IS better to be an apostle than an angel; and it is 

tS ^,"""'^^^1 *° ^°'^ here at making God 
known _and loved than to repose in heaven in featific 

^Ju^": 'S'' °Y °^" '".'""* " ^"^'l *at we strive 
zealously for the salvation of the souls confided to 

^f;„ . •'! ^^ ^° save become just so many medi- 
ators to mtercede ceaselessly for us in heaven with 

tTr I'u'''^\^°' \' g'"*"* °f ^" services : 
for rn?l Ta •? «• ' ^^''." ^° ^"^ w°rk in vain 
; .u L ■ '( "*= promises a wondrous reward 
to the chanty which relieves the poor, what will 
h.\r°* §'^?.f'>?^^ who have caused His Name to 
,nv.H H^' ^'L'"*"!''' '° he furthered, who have 
saved His children from shipwreck and extended 
f: L ? S- °^^r /h'='>- hearts. If God considers 
nf H;?K .1^""'"'^^''"' T,h'^h we do for the least 
WeH. ""' what will not be the reward and 
J u'"^^r.' ^°'' h'm who, so to say, shall have 
saved Himself in the person of His brethren? 

ihis zeal to save souls is what you seek in these 
pages to excite and guide in the hearts and minds of 
^hem to ^I'P" «•• ^°^ &.''"' *hat it so animate 
n!n«c .^ ""^ His great Highway with calm hap- 
piness, that m closing their eyes at the last hour 
Ih^frT^ !.u'''""5' take their flight to the bosom of 
their God, there to pronounce the words of our 
Dmne Lord to His Father on leaving this earth: 

(jSinXV™"'''' ''""'^ '^''""' '"''''"' ^*^'*'"" 
4>0liver Elz. Mathieu 
Arch, of Regina 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTBB 

I Catechism Thaching "" 

" ^'much^^"'" ^'="°°'- Undertaking Too 

III Sum.Y P.M. IN Our Churches . . . 56 

IV Parish Societies-Their Struggles . . 7, 

^ "" Aw!^' WiT^f"""'". ". '^"™^'-^ ^'"'^ 

VI Instructing Converts 

V^I The Country Pastor's Weekday . . . ,24 

VIII The Country Pastor's Weekday . . . ,43 

IX Attending Scattered Missions . . . . ,51 

^ ^r.1V ™^ Outlook for the Growth of 

Catholicity in Our Cities? . ,67 

XI Catholicity and City Life jg, 

XII How Our Clergy ARE Recruited . . . jgj 

XIII Importance of Rural Parishes .... 200 

XIV Languages in Preparatory Seminaries .2,1 



CHAPTER I 

Catechism Teaching 
our text-books 

^RE we perfectly sure that our text-books in 
No^one'^or '"'''■"'^!i?" ''^ '^' best posi? 

..m.. I, i, .„, p^M. .h.', J", air„ *?", -S; 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

"^f^"'■i^*^J' J^^ ,."* "?.* K'^'=" *° examine fully 
what should be the quahties of an ideal text-book 
ot religious instruction ? 

The almost universal practice of generations 
has clung tenaciously to the method of question and 
answer Each answer contains a point i,; doctrine 
gathered up into one sentence, the words of which 
no less than the idea beneath it are to be memorized 
with scrupulous accuracy. Is this the last word on 
the subject? Or is it possible that future genera- 
tions may find themselves introducing religious text- 
books framed on a plan altogether different? Stu- 
aents ot pedagogy remind us that there was a time 
when text-books in several branches of study were 
written in the form of question and answer. It is 
one of no less authority than the Professor of Educa- 
tion in the Catholic University at Washington who 
has something to say on this particular feature of the 
Z ,. ^n I""*"..?--- McMurry on moral teach- 
ing as follows: "Swallow a catechism, reduced 
to a verbal memory product. Pack away the essence 
^u ""uMj^ '",^ ^^"^ general laws and rules, and have 
the children learn them. Sf>me day they may under- 
stand What astounding faith in memory cram and 

.if^fiiT^'r ^' ,"" P='^'= ^"^h => road through 
the fields of moral science, but when a child has 
traveled >t, is he a whit better? No such paved 
road IS good for anything. It isn't even comfort- 
able. It has been tried dozens of times in much 
less important fields of knowledge than .-norals 

lo begin with abstract moral teaching, or to 
put taith in It, is to misunderstand children In 
morals, as in other forms of knowledge, children 
are overwhelmingly interested in personal and in- 
dividual examples, things which have form, color, 

2 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

action." Dr. Shields aHH« • "a ~- 

r Phv U^-^,rt' '".""!• "'^^^ schools in wh ch ge"g! 

instead 'nf ?:^:?"'*"''" ■•«"'* 'i dead accumulations 
ienrf fn n "^u ^'■°^'^-- ^^"^^ accumulations 

muls \™"^'-F«Pta'^le/or words and dead for- 
^ i.-ij i' °'''g'"='''ty and initiative disappear and 
the child having dweft in such a school dSrfng the 

fnte" s7?n '"'^ \-'^' '"\" '^ ^'^^out an er^Sur ng 

"P,vVh 1 '^ '"''^i" ^.'"S''' ^"^'"^ its walls. ^ 

thernZh J°^/"'l-P^'^='Sogy demand a return to 

MasTe ° h°^ '"'^"^ '"^'^^ ^^^ ^'"Pl°y<=d by the 
rl^ i h^'^° '° frequently spoke of thr truths 
which He came into the world to impar- to the 

lottT "l""'"' ''"' ""^''^ "«= refused t^oannouS 

r°XthJ'^ZlT°\''^''\'? ^«'™'^'^ them and 
M/f hnH ^"""'°"«' .'" their lives and conduct." 
Methods of conducting classes have been rad 
extLl'"^''* '" '}' P^^* half century. Til the 
vUh£ "°J "'"^ '\°^/ P"°^hial schoolfexem- 
plity the modern method with the one single ex- 
ception of the catechism. ^ 
Is there any particular reason for this excentrnn? 

beloL'^to'th""' ''?^ ''^' ".The sacredness Chich 
belongs to the ancient doctrines has been unfortu- 
nately regarded as attaching also to the antiquated 






SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

processes of teaching them." There are inspectors 
ot Catholic schools who do not hesitate to say that 
the text-book of religious instruction in formal 
question and answer is nothing more or less than a 
relic of bad pedagogy. 
. On the other hand we must remember that reli- 
gious instruction and training are primarily the duty 
ot parents. »_hristian doctrine text-boojcs must 
have in view th^ capacity of those who are to make 
,T/h.° * I™- I' '.'/together likely we often lose 
sight of this. Children attending Catholic schools 
will learn their religion more or fess thoroughly no 
matter what be the character of the text-book; they 
have trained teachers to carry on the work. Not 
so that inrgc e ement of our population situated 
beyond the reach of parochial schools, perhaps be- 

l°,"i- ''•'■?''' ?^ * ^""'l^y ""^hool. Now, good 
teachmg is largely a matter of good questioning; 
the professional teacher excels in this; fhe average 

ftjr.u' r'*\'"'" °'- hf 't is practically necessary 
that the text-book supply the questions. 

stillwlth T"' ^''f.."'"'"'''" in. its original form is 
milJi •." ""'' '■''''y '° '■•^'"^'n: to it and to the 
methods Its structure suggests, we may continue to 
conhne our attention. 

NECESSITY OF SIMPLER LANGUAGE 

Undoubtedly the most objectionable feature in 
practically every catechism produced for genera- 
tions in the past has been the use of language and 
reasoning beyond the interest, if not b^ofd the 
comprehension of younger children. We seem to 
be instinctively prone to run into this error, whether 
4 



I 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

to .void uni/teSl pta«ooT%''' '"J^^ =1™ 

parochial school none of Jh^ u-ii'''''' ^"'^'^ °^ « 
at all faniiliar tiT ts ,o„t,m;"*"Thr"^"^ ^'='"1 
>nsta, ces in which they ffl "o arriv. ,^7"" *^' 
was a complete surorL to ,ii v ^ ^' '^^"^ «<="« 
periment. A specTal t«f witnesses of the ex- 
children proposTdTy the telc'her'^a'fh ^''^ '•"•" 
the very brightest i/the class Aliirl"^ ""°'?« 
their twelfth year, had Wn .„ i j" "^""^ '" 
spent almost six vAr. • .^- confirmed and had 

religious""l?;h\Ef"ph^r'as^stuolj°b1"'^'.'^ 
IS not one the meaning ^/t^ ?"" ''^'"^ there 

all three pupils to 2enf''.^'' ^l' ^''''P"^ by 

other of the three DunH *''"' P*""*'" °"e or 

FollowingTs the l"t ^ ^'''' * '°""' *"»^««-- 

firsf pa?en'ts"'"" "" '^°""P'^'^ ''y *he sin of our 

f I" P^P":'^" us of spiritual life. 

£i g"=vous matter. 
57- The entire answer. 
103- A supernatural gift. 
107. A divine virtue 
122. The attributes of the church 
5 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

124- A doctrine of faith or morals. 

129. All its members are in one communion. 

134. From whom does the church derive its un- 
dying life and infallible authority? 

_ 138. Whence have the sacraments the power of 
givmg grace ? 

146. To attain the end for which He instituted 
each sacrament. 

161. Is baptism of desire or of blood sufficient 
to produce the effects of ba))tism of water. 

198. Our sorrow . ., . should be prompted by 
the grace of God and excited by motives which 
spnng from faith. 

213. The circumstances which change their 
nature. 

236. The superabundant satisfaction of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Saints. 

287. Laws coi;cerning the civil effects of the mar- 
riage contract. 

318. By attributing to a creature a perfection 
which belongs to God alone. 

342. Representations and memorials of them. 

344- Enliven our devotion by exciting pious af- 
fections and desires. 

_ 351. According to the nature of the vow and the 
intention we had in making it. 

367. To seek his spiritual and bodily welfare. 
, 395- Mortify our passions and satisfy for our 
sins. ' 

The reader is possibly going to suggest that very 
often children cannot do their best in an examina- 
tion, cannot be expected to explain phrases taken 
away from the context, etc., etc. 1 wish to assure 
him in anticipation that in this case the pupils had 
the context before their eyes throughout, that un- 
6 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

li^irnhJlT,' """ '""r'' ''"'"' 'f'" 'hey manifested 
elusion nl'r"/ whatever, and that the only con- 
^.h., »E° '* ^"' *"'^''" °'- «aminer was that 
ficuh for ;??V" °^»he •''"guage was too d" 
advanctent" ^•" °^ '''''' ^"" ''"'^ "="«» °^ 

!n V^m;°^ *!5' ^''^ catechisms which have succeeded 
in coming down to the intellectual level of their 
readers >s an admirable little treatise entitled "Firs? 

Rt'^Re!: ^n't '"'/o-''^''"'''' ^ ""derstand of he 
is correct ^l'l»^ ". ^"'.'^^'Sh._ If my info^atio,^ 
IS correct, it owes its existence ch eflv to the luthnr'. 
having found »he usual catechisms C difficut for 
many of the converts he was called upon to instruct 
wh.Vh'"'"^ °^"°'^' J''"'=^°^«- that^everal book, 

Sldier '"'^ ''"J' &""S '" '^' hands of young 
children were found, by actual test, beyond the com 
prehension of adults f„ the same wJlk of Hfe Tj 
the fathers and mothers of those very children! 

CATECHISM IN THE HOME 

catVchtm/?„„''^-S;'''",^ P'l^'hial schools find most 
V)A I *°° dilBcult, what will be the fate of 

Ser"futZ7l°^ '^'^l ^'^^"'^Ses ? It is real^ 
wonderful that the Faith does not suffer areater 

ancTthfchilH^n'^'' conditions prevail. For' i«- 
ance the child depends upon his father or mother 
or perhaps, some devoted member of the Tonere! 
du "n/a cials'* •°"'-ff'^ '"^' qualification for fo„ 
after inn; " '""'"^ T ^fve her time Sunday 
nnl f.u I '° ","7 good work proposed. ' 
one of the three, left to his or her own initi iv 

a: Tf- ' T"« '^''".'^ -*h ma'y imp^, :;t 
truths of religion, but usually there is no time for 

7 



-I 



'"^1 



Ir I 



SOME PASTORS PROBLEMS 

^ 1 fear, the child^po e"' ovc he^l^'"'^"'''!:" 
desperate struffirle to aVf %,„ • ^1^*' '" 'he 
fences as "To sfrve a,^/„ n^ '""'°", °^ '"'^ ""■ 
.isting our cXtn initio"- r-t^ ^^ '^ "; 
for communion we mj,t h,^ . . Pi'epared 

f»ith. animated Tya firm hoKn'-'fl ^"^. '."^^'y 
ardent charity," or "veTv often fl,"""'"''^ '""'! "" 
to deter us f rom reIan,W • . • ""^ f""«tion, 
should make sZ./ ,?^ ^ '"*° "'"' «"d that we 
justice aTgoodness-'siTo^MV" 9°f' "ff^d^d 

succeed where iTthr/ain? ' He"h' "J''^ ^''""''^ f'' 
>ng; he k .ows no morfn/h; i''?' ''f"«='^ "°fh- 
He has simply mTmorl^P^' "''«'°" "'^" ''^^ore- 
sentences, Xh, i„ all „?„hfKT.''"^uP''"'" ""^ 
to forget when he is no I ^'"'">'' •'" ^'■" ^^m 
hand for redtatU often"^" i"'^"'"'^ *° ^^ °" 
soonc-. TheCathoHcm, ' '"'^"''' ^"^ "i"^' 

of havinp rSitSte^Tnsw/rTnThe" "!'°.^?" ''" 
the age of ten or eleven ?. In 1 j* "techism at 
of tht simpler secS ;. ^ "i^"'^'"^ ""'^ ^ few 
knew thei/catechTsSt no ThetS^"-^' 'l^^y 

i!;'taS^eS?^S^^^|^^^o^^^^^^^ 
is it all.^ The SdT^ce inS'"^ °J-^'^^' ^^"efit 
short of heroic. Ho ly Chirch .h! ''l""^ '"'^ ^'«'« 
parents to have their c^FdttsKd r ^e'^^^^^^ 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

p duil';l^^,:S^a;cV"'^ ^"' "^-'^ ^car, 

b«t they can do; the D^ren,7i *•" •""•. " '" '^' 
»n unceasing reluctance r'n "" '" "'* ^"^ "^ 

protest., the>iId«n'rbmitr;oLnT'""''""« 
other course s possible Wk f^ l ,, ^e^use no 

the most interesCrof " stu^« '• '''""^ '"'''« b«" 
?nd little accomplisLd Sh " '5"*^u' " ''"^"V 
immensely the patience and ^.h'n,"'' • ''""^A '"^'^"ds 
'{ the most devoted and f.^?"?'"?."^ ''°th. and 
are to be founj amonJ^rhn!""u* °^ '" *^' faithful 
ence w-^ predsely sue? as uIv^K ''°"'''^"' "P"'' 
»cnbe, it must be due ;„ ft- ^' ^"" 'Q""8 to de- 

»o their di,positt''ToltdsThT''°'^'-°^''^""«' 

'stian nstructiop fr,7^,l f"5 '"?portance of 

, • efficiency o7 he' instr^L '"'•'"''^ 'V°' <^»' to 

t' less, if we ar,. f^ K^? ™" °" '" 'tself. Never- 

formulae were not bestowed^.ni ^ '*' •'"■""'"8'"8 

derstandingof that wordesDern 'T""'."^ "" ""' 
hest of soils that se^^ Jll u^ ^''«" 't was the 

upon hearts anS" i^ds wS ti'^^^K ^^"" "P°"- 
to the Voice of God Z! thK '"'""'* ge"erousIy 

-a t° '^^^ --'^ tofeTh? v-S'i'', 1^?; 

tur^'VL'!; t otheT^chifd'^^'^^ ^■■'^^ «^ ^'^ P'-c- 
Catholic schools! Sren S ""'' ""' ''""ding 
disposed to adopt such stren»n P^""'"^ ^"-e not 
"ig a familiarity wrthM.'i'' "measures in secur- 
Perhaps not likely^o make Tnv'^ ff°^ '^' "^"''ism, 
-ne t.me -mJetenr^^-Vr^^^y^V^^^^ 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

li^fM."r;;i'^"y P'"'^»«= «"d sentence will be" el 

Does not ev/r ° '«'• ^^^^ ^'^°"1'' ^^ "°^? 
structi^n fJi^^P'^Y^- ^^t-book in religious in- 

should' be'^r'iooir i'r'^*^^^"^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ "^^Hism 
schoo? bu/foSe 'hor'^FofSotTot'h V**"^ 
and maintain and constantly preach That th^'"\' 

tension of the home th^ ''^°v '■' """'^y ^n ^''- 
church or schoolT'hS "° ''''^'°"l' *'^'"'"g '" 
can ever make UD for .h ' "°, '"^"/•'' ''"^ ^«"ent. 
And th[s™s iust'^wL. f ^'"-^ °^ '^ '" fhe home? 

10 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

RELIGION A PRACTICAL STUDY 

affSfSri^ J'^,g„^t^ - « "o^t practical 
connected with our tXV T'^.°'' '"* intimately 
"Not everyone that sa^h^n '"t "!f?' -^""^uct^ 
enter intoX kin.dom'*VL° "'• Lord Lord, shall 

the will of My Father l""^-"' ^\^^ *'''' '^°'^ 
such practical matte«".r " '•" ''"''«'"•" I" 
housekeeping DlSth. .'"^"»g'"g a business, 
of teachrn7;xcu3v h/""!i t° ^""'"^ *'''"k 

the metho^of an earnrt ilf °" Pomnienr on 
convinced that her child rl, .^"""'"^^n'ng mother, 
ners only by earnint w„r2 / ''"^'"L' S°°d man- 
on politeness, of whfch the Si "-'^ " '?'-''°°'^ 
sample chapter- following would be a 

permitS'"otmain'^•?^th^r*'"•^"* °^ ^'>''dre„ 
visitors are present? '^' '^"wmg.room when 

mat i Jih^toTroom wlJl'"'? JP"'"'"'^'^ ^° - 
should be reverent^fl °^- J'T ''""°." ^'"'^ ?'""«"' 
terized by a be'mil/Snr^"'^'^- ^"'^ ^''"- 

A." % a'r'/veSalln'T""*'^! '^'^P-tment? 
-ious /„d SS rtsKt'f"' he^H-" ? ^°"; 

deportment? ''"''^'■'" P''^'^^^^ a genial 

^-piSty-s-^rjijd.^t 






SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Sr r'rssi."""" '"^ '""^ perturbation and 

-e?t, eTc^'etc'^? '"" "*"" ^^^ ' ^°'"P°'*'l "^^P"^'- 

th^T' '* '^r''"''^ '"""^ *^^^^ "o ""Other would adopt 
corum n^ of -nstructing her children in social de 
corum; nevertheless we actually require mothers 
to subject their children to an or'^.alC esHrying 
or neffective as a preparation for a duty so S 
tical as going to confession. What child should 
we ever excuse from memorizing word by word7he 
chapter or chapters on *he Sacfament of pSnce 

^h,ch he would find something like this: ' 

V" What IS contrition? 

A. Contrition is a sorrow and detestation of sin 
for having offended God, implying a firm resoh. 
t'on to avoid sin in the future « " "™ ^esolu- 

possessT '^"'"''" """'* ^ *™^ contrition 

A. That our contrition may be true it must he 
o'°^h"r;"''""'' ""iversal and soverdgT 
tio?shS*bf su^p-e^aturaf ^ ^^^'"^ ''^' °"' -"'- 
suplrnS. \ -Lf ?^ Z^'^l-J^t'rr^ 
S^^S^""' '-- ^^■^'^ -<^ notTy'^mere'fy nT" 

fesS^s!lt"d"lf ttopf '?e?v"n!r''^ T^"'' ^^"■ 
long before he is ca'abYe'^f 'g™i'„;X^-°-^^ 

a ohrl'seo '^"""r^^"'^ ^-^"s express d" such 

har'ara°drbeen'\;L"e°i fn"^"'^ ^^^''^^^ 

K aLcr in lire even the very words used by the 

12 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

TofZj """^ '"*-^°°'' *° "press these 

foISg" ' ' '■'''"""' '"^ '"--"'"g by rote the 
mudon"?""" '^°"" ^^ P^^P^^^ ^°r Holy Com- 

Witt a^rveTy"faitV'"aniL?^'= "' T."' P^^'-'^d 
inflamed by L ardenrchar tv ""-'p ^""^ ^"F"' ^"'^ 
lively fait^.. •SaVe^'^^ a S^p'e '^'t' 

ia j: rhren"uis£f ^^-'^^ ^" '- 

tneme is a favor tc nno o„j i P*^^"- ^ne 

all thant-r^^ t ^. appeals to all. We 

ture to offer assistance ^n .h^" ^ ' '^''^" ^^ ^en- 
duty our con™ don co^fetfi^ohr" °' l'^''^ 
mother to have her rh;M .1 • °''''g'ng that 

compendium ^Ftht^^otl^ Tp^yer "^^'^ ^''^^ 

our^pra^Js'accep-tte ""'' """'"^ ^ -der 

13 






ti ' ': 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

an^"iitT"hea«''w';>h°?" '^"^ /''^ " ''"'"We 

with confidence [n Cn^' "'"i ""'^ Perseverance, 

tion to His Wm , A°^ I goodness, with resigna^ 

ulZ, '^'^ '.,*"d '" the name of Tesus ChrUt " 

of thfs Tueltion'td '^^^ '°""'i t/eTnowledge 
assistance? ^""^ '"'''" °^ «"y P"cticll 

MEMORIZING WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING 

character of Haml,.f'c t^vl , * *"^ literary 

of including "r the ^HT^' ^^,° ^^''^ '^"'"n 

school thfrVo "fourth gralrThf.' P/'?''*^ 
nursery rhyme thp rMU'/ r .'^ traditiona 

assured is there a^S ion of''^" '^^' ''"^'''^ '" 
tasks. Teachers o/™!..? assigning memory 

ago scrupulous! insiKVe Softh: ""^ 

en our opinion of a teacher imposing this 
'4 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

task in utter regardlessness of our having first under 

t1^e°?n c'nir""'"^^. '^^' '''Kh'y comme^ndab e SJa 
tice in colleges and academies of memorizinD- Vevf, 
and extracts from Holy Writ supposeTthe sefectTon 
of such as the student is interested " Is all this 
m conformity with the common practice of cate 
chsm classes? Are not our chilLn evervwher"' 

not a;°st;"j? "^"'•'^ --"» whi^ry'i^ 

den it lmp"L"ron 'the pup r fcT"" ''"'- 

tj-se two questions and S^swe^rf'a^^ear ^Ty 

brikei?^'" '^' ^""^ "'■ ''" °^ """"age be ever 

^.Ij never can but by the death of the husband or 

(2) Why did Christ institute the Sacraments? 

givfng tL lattr '?r/''"'"«-PT'^ *° '"^"-^d in 
result's i^l bf discoTererXr^r'Z"' '""^ '^'^^ 

to speak of patie^'nce and ^r::? r;irat"to* 






till 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

oTy^M^'ftrTnT.'^'''' a meaningless collection 
dlf7nA.^ "^^ *° f y *''« P"«'« has had its 

defenders even among those whose gravity and i" 

tfoi'is""-ThrVir"^,*° ""^^Pl"- Their conten. 
tion is. Ihe child will retain the words; later as 

of th"e5'^'""l '"""'■"• ^' '^i" r^^li" he force 
of them ; surely a most roundabout process of ac 

Ci " '^"*'' "P°" "''•^'^ ""-' sKr may 

nnnn T^ nT "^ primarily essential that when the 
pupil shall have come to maturer years he stiU re 

hiid^Tttr'''* ""' '''"'^'r '"'=">°'-'"^ wh ;t 

^vlt» ^' ^^/y common? Advocates of the 

sys em seenr, to take this as a matter of course to 

wi n'm Set^T'h' -^ ^""^^"^ catechismTear'nlr 
will not torget. Is heir assurance merely a nrinp; 
or have they actually put it to a test? 7( JyZ' 
of h^.'n ''\'" '^' V"°"^'« '° have the you2 me„ 

teen teachers taking part in thoie di.cu.iion. mV,M 

repeat onl, .„ „c.,i„nal a„„er in theTOrda if 

i6 



1 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

.^^■^^"'ll'''-'''"'?"^'' *''''' '^^ tJ^e catechisir all bid 
of fM. K "'Id that for years it had been a duty 
classes ^"th''''' n'^^P'r *." P«P»^^ '^e junio? 



lia 



LEARNING BY ROTE 

The proposition I wish to make in this issue is 
so foreign to general usage, undoubtedly most of 
your readers w.ll not consider it worthy of exami 

acceptance I dare to maintain that religious in- 

tn ^^,. • '""T'^y- This, of course, does not apply 
f?om HoTyVnl '" ^"—'^--'^ - anything' 

^.n^^^'k* /'. f '^- *'^' '°'' f'"^ Christian, primarily 

Holv feh 'Vh' *? ""'^f^'""'^ the teaching of 
Holy l^aith. Thus far it is purely a case of erasn 
mg Ideas: m what words those ideas hajpen^to be 
clothed IS altogether immaterial. Because some 

exp"e«ed ChTs •" 1 V^''"''^'"' ^^PP ""° "av 
expressed Christian doctrines n certain words anH 

phrases carefully chosen by himself whrr^ut we 

hC°" '^'^'^'"^ '^' obligation 'of c'oZ ting 
all these words and phrases to memory? Once we 
are satisfied that the pupil has thoroughly grasped 
the idea intended to be conveyed should we not 
consider this enough? Will there be any ade 
quate gam m having him learn scrupulously the 

idea? IfTl''"' ''"' ''^^1"'^'^ *° communicat'^ he 
'dea? If a grammar pupil can readily distinguish 



.*i 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Plaining^hat distinc3 ' "' '°™ °^ ^°'^' «" 
Dos« hv*/j ''''"°" *''"'^ catechism in print sud- 

sw^s Vrot '^' r^^^'i be required Jlearnan- 
be answLed Have any TuT^'' '^' ''"""?" *° 

sense of I ^.tlll ZtXT. '^TJsl oT;e'a""= 

understanding but bv r.m. T ^"derstand not by 
understood?^ '^ remembenng what we nevej 

IS the ordinary nuoil mnr» KiT i • °'^' ^^ich 

which he has^rSd whjJ^^'' 1° retain-the idea 
which is one of tTe ;h7nJci,^' ''^' "l"'^'^ ^is own, 
put into pract°ce or the wnrH •"" I' "l '^""^ ''"d 

son elseLs «pre se'5 thatldea?"'!? ^"""^ P"" 
this our ordinar,, - • ^" answer to 

evidence. "^ experiences supply endless 

i8 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

The little chHd who has been told that there are 

Ubfe''thTH*"H-^.°'^' ^" ^""» wasVorrin" 
the d«H .», .' '^'"^ u" '^* ^'°»» ''"d r°« from 
the dead that an unbaptized child cannot eo to 

fh„,Tah' r'"."™""''" i* »" '^ith scarcely an fffort! 
wn?^ *' k''" ""^'r been reauired to repeat the 

! !E* ^''•' ''°""8 "•=" o' twenty-one, seven or 
eight years out of school, preserveTa clear notion 

sin'-W.-'"'^V "*^?Pt«ion," "occasion of 

tw«n ^'s1andJ''"''"'f".?5' °^*''" distinction be- 

•'™ '. .1 L ..'"«^ "detraction," "oath" and 

vow, though, if required to pass an examination 

difficulty be allowed a report of twenty-five per 
cent. Or, renew your acquaintance with a vounif 
man once tolerably instructed in his religious dut?es^ 
but for several years neglectful of their practice 

But, ,t will be urged, "surely verbal memorv 
has some place in the work of instruction nTo^ 
beheves ,„ doing away with it entirely.""' Certain"? 
not. Pedagogy is a science and this is one nfthl 

«d" ?^t^bet"lf ^r-'-^r^^*^'' '" ^'*»» 

vvoum It not be well to bring the result<i of th,.iV 

i"hr'"n;"'re/i"": °' ^^"^°"' iSctiol/'" 
eacher wifh '.° ''u"PP,°'"= *''« ^ successful 

sa?ilv f,;T- ""^^i.^'^hool training must neces- 
sarily fail ,n a catechism class? 

,ri f *^"''* '■^^^'•"e '° ^"bal memory in common 

acceptance among students of pedagogy Prof 

Fitch sums up as follows: "When T d,ject i, 

19 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

reamr^Zu ' ?verage class book should we 

require to be memorized accuratelv? R«r ^i, 

world clings to had ?n .n'i"^ T'liy =* P^°^"b ^^^ 
it treasure^d ?ong sincere V^" ^'''' '^'"^°'" 
possessing a charm in fh^ ? forgotten. Words 

wearisome sentenre. tU^ ^ yerDose, involved, 
forms of cxSon'.n '^ ""g^m y, uninteresting 
catechisms ^" '°° -^""""only found i„ our 

in Th': ff'Stef Ssl°e%'ir"'^ ^ """^^'J 
trenchant pronouncem^t "" !t ^°".°^,'"g rather 
now under discussion ''T t^*:. Particular method 
questions and answers be,W 1"'"' T" ^ ^"""^ °f 
rote is to assume tha the el oTe '''"?'''^ ''>' 
of thought between schn^^ J j "° "■"' '^""'^^t 
the ques^tions wltc^h a^rJI^ b^ t JTeH; ?/-; 

20 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

ness on the part of the learner nor for durression 
J It Pf 1°^ '^' ',"'''"' "° ^""ni for tfe p av 
hLd th". h*?" °^ ?''\" ''^"""d the subject in 

children'^-' /n°h?^l"'-|V°," '}i' ^P^"'" "^ 
eives sevirt? „ r^ ^9^°°^ or Catechism" he 

however that- "thoc ^.,- »• """y 'aymg it down, 
fuppose -aS "rets: eZ'n^rbrhe^r^^h'" "" 
mtend to .«^^.,, ,v,^, to^chfldren ratSl ^.^ "■' 

™^d" whr„'a"fS of ,'' "i" '■^"=""."" ^ <^hild' 
will noTremain •• '■'^'' '^'=" °^^^" --^P^^ted 

wirp^^°^^j^^Si--:;^-t3 

an ardent advocate in ^^ late It^Rev '^J^J 



m-^ 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 
Bellord, in whoie all too early demise the came nf 
W* Thr„'rr'°? V".«"5d/lo„ "ally i"e".r°.! 
.!;„ ' E"^" *? *"• "dmirable catechiim boldiv 
announce, F... plan in the following word,: ^ 

mil Catechism appeals chierfy to the intelli- 

E °{ *'it ^'""",' «"«1 ""' •"'«>. or even pr 
manly, to the merely verbal, mechwical memoi^ 

Sn/'""'!'"^" °^'r8; formulas difficult to u^dwl 

cirot3:;rniiiiLer;.'°^ "'"^ °"'^ ^^^ ^'^ «"■ 

fh-P»1'^'"^^ ''?'".•;* °^ t**'' Catechism, on which 
«rv r»r P/'."^'.P« ly "lies for its succMs, is that 
very httle of it is intended to be learned bv rote 
word for word. When children have read^ 1 s! 
»°" °"« "<• ty^'ce, or have it read to them and 

thev ^f\r""°'?''' »^.°"' '"' it '^i" be found that 
thev quickly get mto the way of attending to sense 
r-ther than to words, and of answering more inte" 1?- 
gently and accurately than when the? are 1 S 

mula^ Eve'^ltv""'^ *?* •'^. half-understood or- 
muias. Hverything is intended to be in a hro,^ 

depreca rtt"ili\° '"-°^'.->'' the%S 
m'Sutke ThU '"T*T- °" ""rPortant verbal 
minutiae, ihis only eliminates the attention from 
th« which I, more fmportant-the meaning"of th^ 

weHniL'j," "'• "■ ^T"^' '^^"^ '""■"'■"« by rote is the 
Tn wh?? ""ir*""' P.""'"- I should like to ask 
thaf T^M '"t''°'-'*y do we maintain so positive v 
When inH"K'"""J"'"" '^''" ^"^''gi"" ''" this way? 
upon? OrrJh'"''"'" r" '^''' '"^thod decided 
SiL givln^t^ thi? etc7?'"T7".r"'^"*"r 
grew up u^nder the t^eeSlas'^epSselS^rL" 

22 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

iS'ted 'v^!^'°\ ^? ?**"". •y«*'» ""W be 
A rhiW I. u*^ °'"" " ''" •>«<" the sole test, 
in fhi ,1 "u*?" ""^ !"«'no/'«d the answers given 
Que^^ ^„H"^^ 'i'^i^J'"" P'onounced §elin" 
?nr rU 2^ '^'" P''°hably be considered unprepared 

so undfcr"- ^'"'*,"'' P"«'" »>" "htained 
»o undisputed an ascendency we never think of 
quest.on.nfl; the legitimacy oflts ori^n "" "' 

vallin*^'"" i'' ^ ■"" 'l'?P°»ed to suspect that the pre- 
d?i?l"'K°'" """thing more or less than a tra- 
ditional abuse, wh.ch has acquired somethine like 
a prescriptive right, as the greatest abuses^have 
more than once succeeded in doing 
predselvThf r""°"K '' '"^^'table. This method is 
Sd t«TL '"^ »''°"'d h«ve expected of the un- 
Ski led teacher, and inost of us have spent many an 
hour learmng catechism under the authorij; of 
those who meant well and did their bes^, but who 
had little experience and less training in he It7o{ 
&°^i. V " °"'y "^« exceptional father or 

rcfcroom.''?h '""' 'r^ '" ^^' management of 

.a c ass-room; the young lady with professional ex- 

perience who will generousl/give her Sunday after- 

exceptional. Usually therefore our catechism 
teacliers knew little of teaching. Their devote? 
re%r^'''v? ^?^^" '''"'^' °^ deficiendes, but the 
-a ouesJion^ ^^'^ ^"^ "' ^"^ ""«'"«d remains 
a question and answer text-book in their hands 

We as pupils, accepted the method as a mat- 

pr'oved 'Ter'han^'T ." ''■' ?PP""*'°" "'"^"V 

l^fZ ( .^"haps relentless insistence upon it, in 

spite of Its irksomeness only served to^onvi„ce 

23 



4* 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

tC TT P'"'^^''^'^- Who were we to^assume 
that all th,s stern adherence to a practice w^s 
totally and radically a mistake? Instinctivelv T,n 
questionrng. almost unconsciously, we accented ron' 

clergy have clung to this oractirp n«f k 

Another potent influence has been at work heln 
"ig to perpetuate this notion. Down to the nr«' 
ta"chfr'l""^" "'^ Class-rooms of our col eges a " 
verS ::^;' :? "°^' '^""''idered undue impS" to" 

-pe'rhaprhas disappeared 'T£e J^P"""^ 

a teacher of Latin^an^ar 'ihJ'^Ut'hrdu?; 

24 



CATECHISM Tr '.CHINr; 

the Apostles' rrln a '"''P^/^ed in memorizing 

tions, remarks Itrh u' ^''^'"Pl", excep- 
mitted- if fh.!' .m".' "^''^ ''"" accurately com- 

A CATECHISM NOT A COMPENDIUM 
OF THEOLOGY 

Authors of catechisms in general «#.».m ^^ 

in stan&taleT?„TLX:^-^RS t^t 
not break awav at all Tl,,* ^^atner they do 

dren. On the contrary, the qualities 'vhich espe- 






IS' 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

cially commend them to students of maturer years 
and training are precisely such as tend to make 
their adoption in a junior class an impossibility, 
ine method of exposition by which a primary 
school teacher and a seminary professor respec- 
tively proceed are in most cases diametrically 
opposite. ■' 

Such terms and expressions as "satisfying the 
Divine Justice " "supernatural gift," "the nature 
and effects of the Sacraments," "acknowledging 
Cods supreme dominion over us," with which 
many of our catechisms are replete, are nothing 
more nor less than the words of theology anglicised 
Ihey convey no idea to the child because they have 
not been translated into the child's language. No 
work IS translated until it is made intelligible to 
those who are expected to read it. The service 
the translator renders his fellowmen consists essen- 
tially in making intelligible to a large number a 
unSiJble °t''"^ise would have remained 

Some critics try to palliate this feature of our 
catechisms by maintaining that the author addressed 
himself in these instances not to the pupil but to 
the teacher. If ,o, what he produced can hardly 

5ohZ'f^".l' '"''^■^/'t f°>- children; it remains a 
volume for the use of theologians and scholars, not 
for those who really need it. He may have suc- 
ceeded in enunciating the truths of religion in a lan- 
guage accurate, safe and beyond the criticisms of the 

te3;:^rK' ^."' '''/"' thrown on the parent or 
teacher the burden of conveying these truths to the 
young and the lliterate. If the theolog^n pos. 

from th^ '°T '"""'■•y '^\^''^^ "°* venfure'a^ay 

trom the safe moorings of scholastics' technical 

26 



It !! 






CATECHISM TEACHING 

the questions and answers in th^ hn ^'u"'"? °^ 
A CATECHISM WITHOUT VOCABULARIES 

27 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

to many catechisms which occasion much of the 
unsatisfactoriness experienced in their use. 

Ihat average classes do experience frequent dif- 
ficulties with the language in which religious truths 
are expressed, becomes self-evident in the lengthy 
glossaries considered necessary introductions to 
every chapter. Are they not at best a necessary 
eva rather than essential elements of an ideal sys- 
tem? In the first place, they impose upon them 
ml tJ"* °/ learning so much more matter by 
rote. This could be pardoned did the process have 
the effect of clearing away difficulties. Unfortu- 
nately m many instances, they fall short of the pur- 
pose they are intended to serve. To have learned 
the meaning of a word, or of all the words, in a 
given passage does not necessarily make that pas- 
sage mtelhgible. Countless experiences with LatTn 
and Greek texts in our student days and since have 
surely convinced us of this. 

. Inst/ad of drawing up vocabularies why not 
simplify the language of the catechism? Should 

child? Sh'^M-f ""^'J'^^L'y -'"telligible to the 
child? Should It not be such as to leave no need 
for vocabularies and explanations? No one can 
tan to realize the importance of this aim. The 

t«?boo"lc''n" -Kr,-?"^ "'r- "^' '"^^^ ^ "f-hi^'n 
text-book possible?"— another way of asking "Can 

,nH ''f''!, °J '■^"^'■°" ^' *°ld '" languajf easily 
understood by the young, the unskilled%e ilHter^ 
ate. A very grave quest!, n certainly, in attemot- 

llfrlL""''^'!^'''"!]'?"" ""^""^ ^°^ multitudes of 
oLnt Tj ^''"'^'ti°"s liung upon the words of 

hM rf i^°,-''- ^°'" "" ^^ ^"PP°s^ it at all 

likely that the discourses of the Apostles were un- 

28 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

SS'"VnH ''' "!?"" y"l«^ provided with a dic- 
tionary. God made His revelation for all- is 

ven ,>r. "'°" "^'^"''^fily »° abstruse as to pr ! 
Tn K f announcement in terms comprehensible to 
any but highly developed intellects? To be honest 
with ourselves and with the world at large if our 
catechisms are too difficult for those in' whose 
is at faZ? 'f !'"="'' ' '* ^''^^y' '^<^ doctrine that 

rniss mL on Ways Jfthe'^^ssionTe^'cirble^; 
weaknei ^ "'''' ?""'' ndulgences to as^st our 
^e S. ° "i^^% °"'" i"^"ffi^'>ncy in satisfying 
not reJ -"^ -ir ^°' °"'' fansgressions." fs if 
not really possible to express these doctrines in Ln 
guage the „d ^ ^^^^^^^^ foUowV Not 

one child in a thousand will understand the follow 
.ng question and answer taken from the h rd chal' 
chiU I "-r^'^'r ^'"^ therefore proposed to the 
child when he has scarcely compfeted his eighth 

dea'^WarUt?'"" '"'" '™"' '^^ ^"^^-S^ -^ 

toft I!!l^^"°™'*^■°'' "i"' ^''^ hatred God bears 
to It, and the necessity of satisfying for it 

w„ u'^Y''"'"^ .?■■' ^^^ according to custom 
Ce'ssiw''''a'H ■'''':-''.°^ '^' ''infer,'^ "enormi J" 
pected fir^,t . satisfying"; the child would be ex- 

29 



m 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

A. They teach us : 

(i). How great an evil it is. 
( {' S.°^ y°«^ '""St hate it. 
paid. ^^'' ^'''^'^'"*^" a very great debt to be 

anjr dS'i^rchtif ^ ^^:^o;a 

the nature and effects n.h'- '"'^ ''" instructed in 

Persons of an age to learn should know: 

2) wtl '"""^ ^t".'*'"" "'""t believe, 
for us. ^^^' ^''^^ ^""fi™^*'"" is and what it does 

of 'crv'ying'ce'rtrrJ'- '"*=•' "''•" ^'^^ P^^lem 
and at the^same fmf 2" '" '""P'^ '^"g"age 
space usually ™lotteTtn°"'"S '?""''^" *° th«= 

hT/s^'t^^^""^^^^^^^^^^^ 

sho'uid tt b" writt^ ifth '"f ""«'r '■" '-^- 

answer; perhaps that a thnr """T °^ ''""*'°" »"d 
certain truths calls for f''°'^°"g'' P'-^^ntation of 
and answersTperhap " thereforr^r."^ '^""''""^ 
text-boolcs are^too i^t^i^ fS" 7/-- 

30 



CATECHISM TEACHING 



on this plan If so, what of it? 
jection to enlarging them f 



Where is the ob- 



A CATECHISM WITHOUT DEFINITIONS 

pro1„fnlTi„'Ve"wWf'sctor^' '"'•'"'"^ ^^^ 

tJiere be no explanations and fewer definitions ?'' 
The proposal to el minate definitions endrelv or 

aroSse'°distruTin"S'mir"V^ °"^ '^^'^^^^'^ " 
these pages More fh?n' "f.^'a".? who will read 

siderauon or no consideratiorat all '°"' 

31 






SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Gratitude, HatreH P,:^ t i '^'"' Virtue, 

Mortificat o" of Gra e A?' •"''^' x^"'^'"^ «"d 
gence," etc etc anH » ^'"*!"8' M"it, Indul- 

learning a definition ir "Tu""^ " =>" ^i^hout 
not read use «n /h ^"J" Thousands who can- 

to be required of a cat^h-'''' ^"^f ^°"^«n"s not 
laity in KWeral have, ■"" P"P''- ^l^-^ Catholic 

toTd^-G^a^e'^f^a sXn^at*'', '^^^^^^^V be^ g 

for our saLtifi'cati'oranTtfn'abr"'"'' '^ ^"-^ 
heaven?" Let us hone ,11 ^n?ble uj („ ^^^.j^ 

derstand what disDosk^l'" P""'"' ^'^holics un- 

confessionTin th s^have ,h-'' ""^"'"'y ^^^ ^ good 
fr- bei„, "„^l:.'^,5-^ 'Hey^-^ed any assistance 

sXt^^^r co„-^[t°e^ -d detestS of^tTe" 
of sinning no more?""' """^ ' '^^ resolution 

te/cLraT„;tJg\:trvthe1cfa^ "^"^"5 ''^>' "° 
ng of such termsVs "lerund"' '/^ ^n understand- 

"predicate nominat ve,'' ■'ob'iective'''^^' ,•''"'"=■,',' 
requires the resoective Hefi v ^ compliment," 

32 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

IS gone and gone forever V»f ~- t 
alive to recall tL Jm. u '"I"'' °^ "* "« st'" 
grammar pro eededonfhu'" '"'t°°^s in English 
as did the'^atechisms ^" ""'■'' P'''" J"^' =»" *"^^'y 

probably'tte'their'rtti" °"'" "'"'^''''"^ --' 
theologf-no? ?eache« n «"■ •'^"" ''"'^"f' °f 
in treadses on theoWv °?''"'*'°"» "« essential 
scientific inquL Thf. ■ '" ?"^ ^°'"'' '"volving 
their use'Tbo^ks S nde/?"*' • ''^ "° '•"''°" ^^^ 

a knowledi of necessarv lr°-^'^' ''""."^ ''''''^'■" 
It is nnfcJM- necessary religious truths. 

tion i^Ve^r "/hand ^Trld^""" '"J'''^ '^'■'•- 
appeared breaks! ^'"^'^y t'vo catechisms have 

the%ast and atf cLS'''-''^ ^''"^ '^'"^'■^'°- "^ 

com^rehen^ve detitlon -^Prr'' '° ^'°S'■"'' 
from the pen of the llf^' r- ^"^n'TV" works— one 

by the PresTnt^^stp' f%tK-:::f';''%°^^?^ 
growing in favor an/grJe everv oT^'u/T'""*''' 

GRACE 

Can we get to heaven without God's help? 

r^^Z"A:Zr' °^ "'■" •'y J"»t making up our 
No. 

Who must help us ? 
God. 

How often do we receive help from God? 
33 



II 






til 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



Constantly. 

What is this help called? 
Orace. 



MERIT 

Will all be egual in heaven? 

What c/n' '^'^a" ^■■°'" ''" '■" glory." 

may tr«se"t. ""'"^ "^ '^^ '" '''' «*»"= of Grace 
What is it called? 
uaining merit. 



How 



DETl/i liON 



another think ill 



R„ .,"•* person's reputation injured? 
of hL.^'"^ what wilf make ' 
If the things said are false? 
It IS calumny or slander. 
If true? 
It is detraction. 

PERFECT AND IMPERFECT CONTRITION 
Why should you be sorry for your sins? 
my"e?set' °'"'' ^"'^ -''° '-° S' 

caused se^d^s ?C To^t Vfl" •■ "vfoulTtr 'd^' 
cont^sii'n.'^ "°' '° '°°' ' sorrow Jut il'jjfk^'i: 

What do you caU this sorrow? 
34 



m 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

te'i«"'>''-'iio.n. or attrition. 

perfect contrition. 

AVOIDING ABSTRACT TERMS 

fouL''rii„» S^'J""'-" ?■• answer will be 

mon. It would seem /. V '''L"? ?""' ""^°'"- 
anH all „f • • ^ ** " ^e had despaired one 

Sacred Text tholT^^ """^ T" °"^^ '" the 
whether inX /u'^'l ct roTr^'"""? °'- ^°'^' 
seem utterly incaDahl/ „f ?° ' "f '" P""'- ^e 
them. Now since inj/ 1,?'"'"^ "l^"g ^''hout 
addressing^'urselves V f r^ catechism we are 
every.day%ocabuSv iL f^'-' °l P'°P'<= ^hose 
textiook\rbe used shoui? e^t M" ^'^°""f'^ '^e 
- a^iration ^%in;J4TSS„^m'7t^e 

35 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

nitv'ji" ""'' ^/ ""'Jered a sacrifice of dig- 
»uLlft'^l% ° "P""'"" I 'hall venture to 
Ut^tLJf"""'"^ " P°""'l« device, to trans- 
cZpXntT '"'° "'""^'"« •""- "'y °^ 

ent?"wni'"l°^ '•' 'H'e^'dience of our first par- 
ents we all share in their sin and punishment as 
we should have shared in their happiness if t'hey 
had remained faithful. " 

,h!:!\A"u '""' P""" ^^'^ "°t disobeyed God we 

hev HI^'k" r'' '""* »'«^°" 'hey sinned "sinTe 
they disobeyed we are made guilty of their sin 
and are punished for it 9s they were 

Xo make a sin mortal three things are necessary 

cT^se^nt'oT the":^!,"' =" '"'^^''^-^ ""-"-' -'^ ^^^ 

thii'l"erv ^H"''7'J"^^ /'^ =» .P"^°" ^°'' »°""^- 

n„/^? ^ L ^^"^ /?) ''"°'^' 't is very bad and 

to do it " ^' " ^°'"^ ""^ (3) is quL willing 

Sacramental grace is a special help which God 

c^crs^crrrr''^ ^"'^ '°^ -'"'^'^ ^^ '---^ 

recffviii'TT"' ""'' '"'• T'^ *° ''•^'P '^^ P"son 
ca'Ta^rcrleri g^ar'" "'^= '''' '^'^ '^ 

mystYrTern°/fi!.h^' '^ l'"" '''°,"''^ ''""'^ '^e chief 
mysteries of faith and duties of a Christian an.' 

strament!'^' '" '"^ "^^"^^ "'^ ^«-^ »"' t^^ 

ff?°W7i?^ ^" *S^ '° '""■" should know: 
I ■ What every Christian must believe. 
/ r V^L * ''""y Christian should do 
What confirmation 



for 



IS, and what it does 



36 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

teachings of the Christian religion to the litt?e on« 

feia?:.^r "« "^"^^^ ""-' "p-''- o"'^ 

meSs?^'" ''' °^ °"""'^" •'"P 'h^ command- 

savtu^°' '"'^ '^" '^ '^^ ^""•'^ ^hat would not 

wh?tdl°v.^:7cdf '^°"'"'-'^'""»» =«nd be saved, 
^- Thi^ grace of God. 
Q- What is grace? 
A. The life of God in us. 
^ Can we all have this life? 
^- res; we must have it or be lost forever 

dott^L."" ' "''• "^'^'^°"* ^= y°» "" 

And"ag:in'r^^"*'''''^'P°^^°d? 
Q. What do you mean by grafting? 

it fnto'^aTo^h'er. '""'' °'^ "^ "^ ^ '" -'^ P"«in« 
37 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Q. Why is this done? 

A. So that it maj; get the sap of a new life. 

Q. Is the Christian religion .ike a fruit tree? 

A. Yes; our Lord says, "I am the vine, you are 
the branches." 

Q. What is the sap of this vine? 

A. The grace of God. 

Q. How is it the sap? 

A. It flows from Christ, who is the trunk, into 
the branches which are the members of His church. 

In both the above extracts we have examples of 
doctrines, among the most abtruse, set forth with 
surprising clearness and thoroughness, and without 
the use of one abstract noun. 






m- 



ONE THING AT A TIME 

Barring the pretensions of our modern sociology, 
there probably is no science in the development of 
which so many opposing views obtain as in the 
science of pedagogy. But how widely divergent 
so ever be the convictions of its several students, 
all, without a single exception, make profession of 
faith in the doctrine "One thing at a time" as a fun- 
damental principle. Subjects of instructions so 
varying in their scope and purpose as algebra, 
grammar, writing a foreign language, elocution, 
music, calisthenics, all receive treatment at the 
hands of skilled and efficient teachers in due sub- 
servience to its dictates. The younger the pupils 
we are striving to advance the greater the neces- 
sity of conforming scrupulously to the methods its 
application suggests. If there is one sphere more 
than another in which we should feel the impor- 
tance of keeping this maxim constantly in view, 
38 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

surely it is in the effort to put the great truths of 
T^^°" """^ **= '"'"'^' °^ ''"le children. 
Many of our catechisms, unfortunately, through 
a desire that every answer be a proposition gram- 
matically, logically and theologically complete in 
itselt have made the observance of such a system 
an absolute impossibility, and in many instances 
proceed by a course almost diametrically opposite. 
It IS another result of looking upon a catechism 
as merely a compendium of theology, and of failing 
to recognize the impossibility of presenting truth 
to beginners by the same psychological processes 
as prove effectual in dealing with adult minds de- 
veloped by years of study and intellectual exercise. 
It is not an argument against this plan that few 
^""xk*"' •" '^^**'^'i'S'ns have adopted it. 

The idea is by no means new even among prac- 
tical instructors of children whose class experience 
has been limited almost entirely to the work of re- 
ligious training. Though written in what now 
seems the distant past, we find Father Furness, in 
the work referred to in a previous chapter, main- 
tainmg this principle with all the force of settled 
conviction. :in describing his idea of a catechism 
he declares most emphatically that each question 
and each answer should contain but one single idea, 
wh:"!^^'"'?*' 'l<=fi'"t'0{>. .explanation, or question 
which involves a multiplicity of considerations or 
requires a complexity of phrases or clauses for its 
^nsssion is beyond the calibre of the youthful 

. As examples of violating the principle advocated 

in this paper, allow me to produce here some verv 

familiar quotations. ' 

(a) "No; as the three divine persons are all 

39 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

but one and the same God, they must be alike in 
all divine perfections; therefore one cannot be more 
P°7"f'^l or more wise than the other." 

bel eves in ^fh^'?"" \ '^l '""^ °^ salvation, who 
Deiieyes in the true church, and says that in hh 
heart he is attached to it, but through prde hu 
man respect, or worldly motives does not make 

itresseErrtfes?' ' °' '-' "- --^^ 
by|is"S;ti"x'^^r':^^-£Sf 

™ght teach all ages and nations." '^' 

thankscrivlnl 'T^^ '° """^ '"'"^*' ^'*'' P"i" and 
tftanksgiving, the great mysteries of religion- and 

GoVr the^;;^""'^"'^^ °^ '^-^ ^-^^- -^'^ ^1-"' 

(e) "That the providence of God which often 
here permits the good to suffer and the wicked to 
prosper may appear just before all me„ " '° 

law of rnn"' "" " ^ ^m''' °'f^"'"^ ='gam" the 
^w of God m matters of less importance, or in 

ST °.^.^''"' importance, it is an offense com" 

"f the w^ll.'°"' ""'^'''"^ """*'"" °^ f"» '^''""nt 

(g) "The church by means of indulgences 

[n?t„' ''"^ *^'"P°'-.«' punishment due to sin by fpX 

:?e^?s^;tCT'^eati;^.-"'^^ -' -^'^^-^- 

we QuoTeX't'r*-'''' "° '""'^'' '° 'Widely known 
/?N .%r ^°"owing extracts in contrast! 

it a sin? " ^^°"^ " """" '° °"'" minds is 
"No, if it is not wilful. 
40 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

'Ti'mivl '"'''" '* '■« n°t wilful? 

, A temptation. 

When does it become a sin? 
When we are willing to enjoy it 

•tee"rnn::i?:^-''a''de'sire? 



mortal sin can he 



"n •"= K=' "d of such 

JBy prayer and^occupation." 
h, • ,^ person commits a 
have^U taken off his soul ? 

How? 

li^?we^^r-?i&--^-=^- 

Tdl our^sms to the priest. 

The priest can take them away 
Who gave h.m that power? '^^ 

What sins must we tell? 

All our mortal sins. 

What about our venial sins? 

foii/ Could you l.ve, work and 
No; we would soon die. 
What is the food of the soul? 

At tf,- I ZT ^^ "'* flesh as food? 
41 



grow without 



I 



(i 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

What makes us sure of that? 
His promise. 

Suppose we refuse to trust Him notwithstanding 
His promise. " 

It would be the sin of despair 
Suppose we expect God to save us when we make 
no eitort ourselves? 

It would be the sin of presumption. 
It IS possible that a catechism drawn up in ac- 
cordance with the suggestions here and heretofore 
advanced would turn out a somewhat larger volume 
than the traditional book of religious instruction, 
looked upon as of standard dimensions for junior 
classes. Should this feature constitute an objec- 
tion i- bur-. 1/ the most serviceable text-book ought 
to be adopied regardless of size or cost. Could 
we imagine the author of a text-book in some 
branch of secular study obliged to abandon a plan 
ot Illustrations and exercises merely because its 
execution would require twenty or thirty pages 
more than treatises previously in use. 

To the objection that the amount of matter in 
our primary catechisms already overtaxes the mem- 
ory of many pupils, it may be answered that when 
there is no longer question of learning every thing 
by rote, the effort to possess oneself of a book's 
contents is not necessarily commensurate with the 
number of pages it contains. 
,hnnli* '\'='!™'=d that the price of the catechism 
should not be allowed to go beyond the time- 
«r M u •'"°*''*'°" of one nickel, or that the price 
should be kept down to a minimum, there is ground 
for questioning the very orthodoxy of the claim. 
Are Catholic parents to be trained that only the 
smaUest possible fraction of their earnings should be 
42 



■t'l 



CATECHISM TEACHING 

cost of his eveni„rnaT 7r^- ^?'"'""g™,»n saw the 

gency. Still we must nofth?t ?"' •*° **"= *='""- 
man to once a veaTDav^en ^^ °/ "'"""K *''''' """= 
cause he had been Lcnln ?"'" ^""^ ^ "t^chism be- 
church in America mor'X'* '° ^^^^^y fi^«- The 
globe has eS ized he b"elie7tf ."•^'?'^''?" '^' 
cause of religion 'anctifie, fh' rL ?' •^''^'"8 '" '^e 
people are better r.Tr r Christian; that our 
make rather large contrSufi/"'.''''!!^ °^'''«^d to 
church andpastof M ^T"' .'° 't '"PP°^* of 
the greater^he outlay SceTsarvu""'" "^\'^^' 
the greater the blessine unnn^[?^ P°" * catechism 

ohc publishers in oX^to^ep wiET' r" ■ ^''^- 
we may nresume —A P withm the limit and, 

themsefve^;Tave'turTed''„,f.'"y^i"- "^ P*-""' f° 
their general mILnn ""V"'''^'"''"* which, in 

Is it n'ot abintThi:?ho£fras:r "^^^""""^^ 



43 



CHAPTER II 

Is The Parish School Undertaking 
Too Much? 

ZJ T ^ ^°.^°°^ "P°" the Catholic school as 

ted sircl- rSv?^ -inin. o^f 
will endure when parents have not do^ethr part 

^nfcSino;^:.r-,ScSirn£^^^^^ 

c.t.es are not what they^ught t7be wL^T 
remedy ,s going to be, or whether there h. 
remedy possible, we ar; not so sure Our eff 7 

parents' hanrl. ? a j • '".^ *°° '""'^h out of the 
44 






PARISH SCHOOL 

sibility^orffrontinJ u, , ''^^^y'this terrible pos- 
Mass^he arra„& for .L-^T^y ">" .children', 
Sacraments the oc?a?„n^ («q"«ntation of the 
Mass, the eachin^ n7 assistance at weekday 

the Hail Ma',?^':«d°(hrtakinl ov'"'^'^ ^J''" ^"^ 
t'zmg of a mu titul nV^ 1" ^ over and systema- 

the sacred pr^v"E of Dare"nJr ^^J'^J'^ •^'"'■'y 
vious generations^ prreLsStenuS"*" '" ^'^ 
stances the most unfavorable, attended to' we^'"- 
upo^n'^a^TSrratd t T^ "f^^^^ ^^^-cl 
to the parish school --'^''"^ '"""'°" 
social seVceorganitTonT- °^''°"«r- g"ilds, 
undertaking what "nee T..' r '^ T l^^ ^''"^^h 
of the hon^e ^" considered the function 

cer?aiLSmbtS\htd'ren Vtr;; °' "^^''^^ '" ^ 
forestall by steDDini in.; ^t"^'' danger we try to 

another feature of Th. ., **" •'"■"/'' ourselves, 

ination, namelv °hat J, ' '""""f ^°' °^' «^'n- 

parent^-iS. &X. „T' ''r^ '}' P'^^^ °' 
fflijfe n„- . ""-^ ""^ qualified us for th, 

to those parents Ts well ,,/'!!:' -^"^^P""*"^' »°" 
mense. There is hrrJL *° t^^ir children is im- 

geration onThis point Vj f°"'''"'^ "^ "»g- 
leading theirTttfe "nes S CnH ^^^'^""ifi^d by 

PHvc parent^ or?L^^GXVt°;SpSt;^ t 
45 



ml 



If .. 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

dealing with children of the other class of parents 
those parents who, we are sure, will nedect thefr 
fcT «""«% realize in the end tharour be [ 
ure. A pastor who at the end of twentv v^ar. 

7Z\f' ^r°^ ?^^''°^' ^''■'dren who !&" 
all the advantages of church attendance and narish 

find hL''"^'^''" ^"'r '^''''°"' » home traininrwll 
recorJT ! '»« *°.f?« ^i^h the most discou^igTng 

so fnll r.( "^ ""H'"**^ "" °ff"- What seemed 
so full of promise has turned out fruitle« Hic 

ofY/actS"'''"' ^"^""■?"' '^' unceaSfsoTicitS 
for th. f.;^ '"P°""= ^^^'^ *«'ned with assurances 
thJ rlr •"'■'' P'-°''P««s of completely chanrine 
the rehgious status of the familv all h,.,. j f 
m bitter disappointment As lildren Xvlol 
yelrf thev^'?/""K°^ 't^i' teachers but S few 
out forfh ;. f ''^ contention, not infrequently 

ckS?popuktortha/''thr"" ^'^?"^°' °- 
thSi:^:^^i:^ttttraf:^j:^- 

iiT"a*^^^'l[ ■" H"' -e altogethe'/l": 

f/J^«.o«/ Could. n:t7n'y"on: ^tX Xt? u^' 
conceZ://?'"^ " '''^ °"? grearessentiaK why noi 

46 



PARISH SCHOOL 



"cc the parent .4 theToi'g"'o/°huf o;.''"""' 
admit our ncaoahilifv „c *,°^ "'" Or do we 

the home? Or do we 2'°.'^-""! '"^ ■•""''* '" 
practical means of relchi^^ it ?'" I ?' ^''"/ '» "° 
taking to fill the place of nfrenf, h""'' ?^ ""'^"- 
duty, would it not be no,fiMr* '^''° "''?.''" *''=''• 
thing in the wav of hf: • *° accomplish some- 
it themse Jes7 Vhat wTuM^^'^T'" '".""^"^ '° 
of th- time which we W. \^^', '"""'' '^ '"-"e 
were spent iT he YnXdlaF hott T^ ??""'" 
parents? If our exDerlrn.- fT' °^ delinquent 
tiveness of the teaSe?, ^""^"butes to the effec- 
are competent to direcf.h''' '" "?" '^^ool, if ^e 
might we nC hone t„ h '""'"«'°" given the^e! 
offer which wouW enable n?Jr^'"«8"*'■°"' to 
work as teachers'1n^?:'iuccSl^?''^° to do their 

attlmptit°an IZl? i'tT ^ V ''' ''• P"^''«' ? I" 
information fuSed' by C rS' r^ '° "°?' ^''^ 
description of pre.Refnr™,f'^' Gasquet m his 
clergy had to maJ^e ure b^-"" ^°'"'- '"^''^ 
that as children grew UDtM!,°f^ examination 
instructed in thJrlLZtl^^^ ^"" sufficiently 
parents fail in thiT the ^^H nf ^.'"■""'- Should 
be personally responsible •?°'^-P"'"*'' ^"^ '>«W to 



"^^"onally responsible.''" 



in our'-dTy? That'som.'"""' '°° ^°'"'"°'' neglect 
uninstructed, in theTom^m"'"'' '^^ illiterate and 
term, is no ewlanatinn^ " acceptance of the 
among those who have Jn'" wC- ''^"'^'nber that 

therelere ma^'^ho^r^^iJ-.-.trre^rL" '^'^^ 
Nor were private devntmol . ° ""^ write. 



f:i 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

family commit more prayers or Inn«. 

memory; nor were nn.<. j .° ^'"^ prayers, to 

in those ho: .« wh"re fhroi^"."'" '''""?>' ">«" 

teaching of prayers' 7or*da?usfa"d "the"!''!,' ^'" 
of religbus dutie. h^A k- ^ use and the Studying 
generation, *^ ''"" =""d"«ed orally fo? 

n-er*fe«T„stSe'd'in" l^ 'T^'' -''° ''-^ 

-other^ have'aKu sTsave ' 'fe ''"""f ""'J 
question of our obligation f„ \. j-^*;^" ''« "° 
if necessary to such rl., 1""*^ 'ndividually, 
not to abandon the task uniil'^h'^ "'^ t'K'^" '^«=" 
and capable of instructinaM, *'' I'L''"''' ^''"'"8 
parish rectories in our 1^ ^"' .^'"'dren. Most 
the class of adults on on^'' "f ""'" accustomed to 
It is usually composed n?' '^°'^i"i"S^ a week, 
admission to the Fold ^1 """-Catholics seeking 

while inquiring whfthe; th^re ate' noT' ^' ^°''^ 
own peop e adults ;„ -„- *^ "°* among our 

fon?'^ Some of these Ihrn^T'" "'"^ °^ '■"«™'-- 
pess, perhaps also thVu/rt-^ ''"'' °^ ''='="fu'- 
-nduced to attend a class^'' fht'h ""' """"' ^e 
generally prevail upon to -nH ^ howeve- we can 
Ptruction in private Sue • f "-'"""^ "^ 'n- 
in the home in presence „/^J""i:-,'i'°" ""''^^ «n 

o-"«ruS^ti?^^?Cj^fe--. 
4° 



PARISH SCHOOL 

Mc" Th'cro„':?'i:^j^ r ^•-" ^^^ the c. 

the better surely "l7a"f"t"^' '"^'^ » *"diti°^ 
has bequeathed a„ example oHnH-ff""' «""atior 
«»?rd /or the souls o7h! chiM "'"r"'^ ""^ d's- 
no instance of hi, trying to fori ?^"' '^. ""^^ "-ecall 
'aith and piety, we are H„- ™ "'*'" '" habits of 

Prov-dinK that thele practice b^e::^ ""!," '^°^'' i" 
the prospect of their b^inL • ^'^"Pted now, with 
ture generations ""« '""'"tained through fu- 

ParenLr dueTrdl;;" "'■'''? »" ^^' Part of 

t'on in their own liv« o??' '"'H'^ °' d.' s Pa 

nwsof disposition which7,n?,;f" "?,^?'"ce or east 

should assume the burden ''^'\'''.""'« that other, 

to an understanding of m"; V *""'"« such parent, 

"ergies, to make them "^ ^''^' ^° a^use their 

Ihc eternal welfare oTth^r""'''^ •''°'''^''t°« 'or 

^harge, is a task bv n!, •committed to their 

Neverfh.i-.. .•/■'" .?y. f^o means «hr.,» „_ "*"^ 




kingdom be SdTd'aL' ""^ -"'d ho^e Vha'tS 

epardians of these hom/ T'f,^" '" the present 
nmety-nine faithfu toTo.f^^" J"^^ '"^e th"^' 
jrnng or falling behnd^ M^'u *^u" °"« that is 
h's control the eterna ifnf. ^^^% ^''at one has i„ 
nocent children whom iT'-^u °^ =• "umber of in 
how to guide U^ ■ ^^ "*='ther knows nor ^1 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

dren and great-grandchildren innumerable? The 
means at our disposal to train parents are chiefly 
the pulpit, the confessional, opportunities of seeing 
them personally, and the influence we can bring to 
bear upon them indirectly through the clasi-room 
and Sunday school. 

I. In the pulpit we should not be satisfied with 
occasional exhortations on the duties of parent*, re- 
minding them of the gravity of their obligations 
and warning them against the terribk- consequences 
of failing to attend to them. Mucli of this is in 
vain when our hearers do not see the application. 
If criticism be not out of place, it may be suggested 
that most sermons and pamphlets on the "duties 
of parents" are aK.jgether too general in charac- 
ter. Parents of the class we are now dealing with 
need to ha'p those duties explained in detail. 
Thev can hjidiy be expected to teach with the best 
results, having never had any training by instruc- 
tion or example to indicate the manner of setting 
about it. It is a mistake to suppose that most par- 
ents know all they are expected to do, and a still 
greater mistake to suppose they know how to do 
It. To accomplish all that is necessary in this re- 
gard, not only a series of sermons, but frequent 
series, may be required. 

.^'i* practice adopted by some pastors of assem- 
bling parents on extraordinary occasions for this 
purpose cannot be too highly commended. Some 
pastors, to be assured that the more delinquent will 
not overlook the announcement, go to the extreme 
of inviting them by personal note. Nor should 
we allow ourselves to yield to the mistaken tend- 
ency of associating mothers only with the obligation 
of instructing children. Of late years we have all 

JO 



PARISH SCHOOL 

listened to many able discourses prepared for large 
gatherings of men, such as meetings of the HoTv 
Name Society and the like. Is it not to be re- 
gretted that advantage is not sometimes taken of 
these opportunities to outline to men the personal 
attention due from them to th- religious training 
of their children? 

I. Will a large crowd pressing from without, or 
even the long wearisome hours, Saturday evening 
atter baturday evening, excuse the confessor from 
regularlv interrogating such parents as to whether 
or not they have taught their children their prayers, 
nave morning and evening watched over their 
taithfulness in saying them, have had them receive 
tne Sacraments regularly and with due preparation, 
have secured their attentive assistance at Holy 

3- Is there room for controversy on the advisa- 
bility or practicability of a priest engaging in the 
rather delicate task of visiting homes with a view 
to training parents in their duty? What can he 
• L "^?, ^* '^'^ ^"'^ ^^thers who never once 
in their life have assembled their family for eve- 
ning prayer. This he can ask for, requiring the 
rather to lead, and most probably discovering that 
his competency is limited to the recitation of a 
i'ater and an Ave. At once the way is open to 
commence the instruction of such a father. 

If the younger children have never been taught to 
pray, why not insist upon the parents engaging in 
this duty then and there? Children who are at- 
tending school can be called upon to recite the Cate- 
chism lesson, the father or mother being the inter- 
rogator. The attention which parents should give 
their children in their ordinary confessions and 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Communions can be pointed out and urged in 
every possible way. This will also be found an 
opportune moment to insist on the home being pro- 
vided with prayer books, Catholic reading matter, 
religious pictures, articles of devotion, etc. To 
attempt this work at all is to discover endless op- 
portunities for good, not the least important dis- 
covery being, perhaps, the hopelessness of making 
any mpression on such people from the pulpit 

.binding time for such visits is the objection which 
will occur to us. Nevertheless pastors who can 
devote one evening weekly will before many months 
be more than satisfied with the results. Will oeo- 
ple submit to this? Will they not resent being 
called upon t9 give an account of their conduct? 
ihe writer wishes modestly to answer from expe- 
rience and say that no other form of effort which 
a priest can bestow on the negligent members of 
his flock will be so thoroughly appreciated as this; 
m no other way can he so completely gain their 
confidence; in no other way will he secure a more 
lasting influence. No Christian with even a spark 
of ^aith surviving will fail to see in this attention 
ood P"**' a generous effort for his greatest 

• ^''^ $^u ^^^'^" '''"'^'y permit a seeming digres- 

fl!i"i / u ^"- ,?, P,""'""" "' *'T'"g to bring back 
the lost sheep is likely to urge the attendance at 
Mass or perhaps preparation for confession. This 
is asking too much as a beginning. There is the 
ettect of long, stubborn habits to overcome; there 

larT" """^f *' '""^ '''"•= '"^y •"= many external 
difficulties. Moreover a variety of excuses can be 
offered as pretexts. Might it not be better to 
msist tor the moment upon nothing more than at- 
52 



PARISH SCHOOL 

tendon to his morning and evening prayers? To 

an\e\"" P°*'t'vely offer no objeftion;Tnd if he 

can be brought to a sincere practice of his religion 

at home there is. surelv every reason to hope fhlt 

S ciir°" k""^ '^°"' '^' ^"*- The n^mbe 
ot Cathoics who continue faithful to their reli 

C a°nd ?he°s"' '" ^"^^'^ '""^ culpably neg^c 
Mass and the Sacraments >s very small indeed. 

the'J^r A ■'■'^"'" Catechism classes throughout 
and'^n iiSr"^ Preparation for First Commu^nion 
and on simlar occasions, we can influence parents 
by constantly imposing upon the children the duS 
as «3i."/^ *''"' cooperation, bein^ careful as fZ 
as possible to undertake none of the nstrucliZ 
M the parents are in a position to provide 

weTeav?rr pTrS? "'^"' "°^ '"-'' ^^'^^'^ 

(a) Children should never say their mornino' or 

evening prayers in school Soi^e monJUs ago\n 

lege at 8 rrA°!,°'"' "'m' I ".°*'"'^ '^^' =» ^ay col- 

thr^erctJ tt b '"° r"'- I-x pe^cta^fon^l 
It h^Z 9,?ys,win say no morning prayers 

When^h'eir'ir" i''"''' P"""*** insist u^on'^Tt 
When their college days are over, so also will he 
their morning prayers. 

(b) From parents, 'and not from teachers chil 

use"of in i Tf 'V"' P^r;:? ordinal" made 

prayers before ^^ t ' ^"S'^ •^'"'°"'^' '■"^•"'^^"g 
prayers before and after meals, prayers upon rising 
and retiring, the Angelus, etc., etc ^ 

. (c) Save in the exceptional, hopeless case then- 
clCr'LT """".why th; words of the Cate- 
chism should be committed to memory through the 
53 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

teacher's assistance. That is clearly the province 
of the parent. 

(d) No exertion on our part should be spared 
in having parents accompany children to Mass on 
Sunday, always allowing of course for the few cases 
in which circumstances make this impossible. It is 
they who should be responsible for their conduct 
and assist them in devoutly following the Holy 
Sacrifice. This would do away with the children's 
Mass. It is an institution apparently sanctioned by 
a usage almost universal. There is much to be 
said against it, and we are safe in holding that it 
continues in existence not because it is looked upon 
as the best, but merely the best possible under 
certain circumstances. 

(e) There was a time when parents were ex- 
pected to accompany their children when they ap- 
proached the Sacraments, and the day has not yet 
come when any of us ceases to admire the practice. 
Nor should we forget that the conception of this 
duty entertained by most parents not only guaran- 
teed an immediate preparation and fifteen minutes' 
thanksgiving, but also exacted of children a spirit 
of silence and recollection in the hours of Holy 
Communion, a becoming seriousness in their con- 
duct during the hours which follow, and time for 
making a formal thanksgiving during several days 
in succession. None of these can be secured by the 
Catholic teacher. 

In our love for freedom and democracy the prin- 
ciple upon which we all stand is the autonomy, the 
independence of action in smaller and local institu- 
tions. Nothing do we resent more keenly than the 
encroachments of higher powers. Assumption of 
what we consider State rights by Federal authority 
54 



PARISH SCHOOL 

brings evenr citizen to his feet. Counties and 
smaller municipalities conduct the affairs which lie 
within their competence untrammelled by any inter- 
ference on the part of either State or Federal 
governments. Ko one would hear of any of these 
bodies usurping the prerogative of the three trus- 
f«l ^''° '"^"'ig*: the rural school; who then will 
reel justified in assuming the divinely-appointed 
functions of the family and home? 
fr.?.? ii! ""/Archbishops, when addressing a Con- 
fraternity of Christian Mothers some months ago, 
used words to the following effect: "While del 
ploring the evils of Socialism, we fail to notice that 
we are allowing the methods advocated by Social- 
ism to creep into our Church organizations. We 
all, clergy and people, protest violently against any 
attempt of the state to encroach on the domain of 
the home. Meanwhile parents, by forgetting that 
children are theirs to train and guide, force the 
Church into an assumption of duties which reduces 
the Christian family to the status that Socialism 
would assign to it." 



r 



55 



CHAPTER III 
Sunday P. M. In Our Churches 

WITHOUT doubt our efforts to bring congrega- 
tions to church a second time on Sunday have 
been a failure. The thousands who pour in and out 
of our churches at Mass hour, Sunday after Sunday, 
are represented by less than hundreds in the eve- 
ning. This proportion is really above the average. 
We have all seen large edifices in which Vespers are 
regularly celebrated with an attendance little be- 
yond the minimum fixed by diocesan statute as in- 
dispensable to enjoying the privilege of Benediction. 

Differences of conditions give very slight differ- 
ences in result. If the large city parish, with mul- 
titudes to draw from, contends with the obstacle 
of other attractions in multitude, the smaller city 
or town, boasting usually of a better proportion, 
has still to be satisfied with the minority, while the 
country pastor is forced to realize that the question 
of distance invariably precludes every hope of ac- 
complishing much in this direction. 

Nor is this sparse attendance peculiarly a feature 
of Catholicity in our own country or continent. 
The visitor to European capitals and cities of in- 
terest will look in vain for overflow congregations 
afternoon or evening. 

This delinquency obtaining everywhere and al- 
S6 



SUNDAY P. M. 

ways and with such persistence has been receiving 
the attention of many anxious and somewhat dis- 
couraged pastors. Various remedies have been sue- 
gested and put into execution. From our pulpits 
we have insisted over and over that the Lord's Day 
was not sanctified by merely assisting at Mass in 
the forenoon. A changing of the hour from mid- 
atternoon to evening, the substitution of various 
forms of devotion for the liturgical office of the 
Church a sermon, a course of sermons, have been 
adopted as expedients likely to attract people 
through the interest so furnished. Even with all 
this we have seen little evidence of improvement 
Lertainly anyone with something new to recom- 
mend in the matter will have an attentive hearing. 
Any pastor who is assured success in this can be 
achieved under normal conditions anywhere, and is 
willing to give the world the benefit of his secret, 
is within easy reach of a reputation by no means to 
be despised. There are thousands of us willing to 
give his plan a fair trial. 

_ The ever-active business world under parallel 
circumstances would certainly institute an inquiry, 
with a view of finding out what, if anything, could 
be done to better prospects. Through the medium 
ot commissions the question would be studied from 
every s.gle of incidence; evidence would be gath- 
ered, conventions held. Would not their example 
be worthy of imitation, at least to a degree, amid 
our difficulties? Has not the time come to give the 
matter some attention, if not to engage in united 
eltort, at least to discuss causes and remedies, to 
seek assistance from one another, to pr'-fit by the 
wisdom of those who have had some measure of 
success? Purely through faith in the efficacy of 
57 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

such a proceeding, and not at all because there 
is any past success to record, I dare offer readers 
some points for consideration. 



CAUSES OF DECLINE 

In our readiness to admit the fact of declining 
attendance, perhaps we are too ready to dismiss 
the subject by a passing allusion to increasing at- 
tractions elsewhere, multiplication of motor-cars, 
and a greater number of business undertakings and 
social pastimes gradually intruding themselves into 
the Sunday program of the average citizen. As 
a matter of fact, certain cities and towns are as 
quiet and devoid of activity to-day as twenty years 
ago. That the automobile, because of its capacity 
for obliterating distance and diminishing the time 
required to take part in Vespers, should rather pro- 
mote than interfere with attendance, can be reason- 
ably argued. Then, when we inquire into the 
movements and habits of hundreds and thousands 
invariably absent, we actually fina there are no spe- 
cial doings or outgoings in their way at all. On 
the other hand, there are everywhere indivfduals 
and families equally confronted with all those pos- 
sible interferences who nevertheless cannot be 
charged with delinquency in this. They, like their 
parents and older members of the family, were 
doing so twenty or thirty years ago and they do so 
still. Moreover there are also parishes, not many, 
it is true, whose churches were filled to the doors 
Sunday evenings twenty years ago and are not less 
so to-day. The congregations, as so often happens 
in large centres, may have changed, almost com- 
58 



SUNDAY P. M. 

SiV/i''' 'I""*/ 7 f°."'' *™" '^'th'" that period; the 
personnel of administration may have been replaced 
by another even more frequently; but throughout 
Meanwh'l Z°' "a"^- («'"'^»'n"» have prevailed. 
heonT^l.U^" '"'r'"'"^ p."'*'' '"^y happen to 
,fn„Th J.t A r '""•'* ""Sgest the conclu- 
elid '^ ° "'^""'^ church-going is at an 

The more attention we pay to the variety of 

conclude that this diminished attendance is less a 
symptom of some particular turn that the modern 
religious siJint is taking than of a general decline 
m that spirit. The replacing attendance at evening 
devotions by other exercises, private or otherwise! 
suited to the sanctification of the Sabbath is much 
less in vogue in our day than a generation ago. 
loo many people, who still assist at Mass scrupu- 
lously and receive the Sacraments with some degree 
of frequency, look upon further effort as too much, 
decidedly too much, if it calls for observance regu' 
larly Sunday after Sunday. If, therefore, we would 
continue Vespers or other evening exercise for full 
churches only, one of two courses seems indispen- 
sable: either we must hope to see a large percentage 
of our people more fervent and proceed to do our 
part in making them so; or, failing in this, we must 
tell them plainly that, while they are not expected 
every Sunday evening, they most assuredly will be 
looked for one Sunday in four. What is gained 
by conducting an elaborate service Sunday after 
Sunday for the benefit of a few faithful ones, who, 
ot the entire congregation, have least need of our 
attention ? 

59 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



n 



j 1' 



i' ; -i ' 



THE OVERCROWDED SUNDAY 

Before going further in an examination of this 
proposal, there is another feature to consider. 
Are we not all making the mistake of crowding 
too much — crowding everything in fact — into the 
Sunday program? A pastor has been busy long 
hours Saturday afternoon and evening in the con- 
(""°"al and is there again early Sunday morning. 
With the care of a society, general Communion and 
other matters of detail that may intrude themselves 
at any moment, he celebrates a low and a high 
Mass, and preaches twice, after feeling obliged to 
emphasize and expatiate on several of the an- 
nouncements. Many people must consult him on 
this or that before there is any question of break- 
fast. Baptisms await him at 2 P. M., and Sunday 
School is scheduled for the following hour. Three- 
thirty to four-thirty or five must be given to a So- 
dality or Confraternity, the success of the meeting 
depending absolutely on the character of address 
or instruction he is prepared to give. At seven or 
seven-thirty, having celebrated Vespers and given 
another instruction, he would certainly consider 
himself blessed to be free, it being altogether likely 
that some parishioner or parishioners (just while 
they are there and to save a trip down) are wait- 
ing to unburden some difficulty. Now, it goes 
without saying that the physical vigor required to 
go through these tasks and do each one well is a 
heritage only one in a thousand can boast of. If 
any item in the program can be satisfactorily rel- 
egated to a week day, it were surely highly com- 
mendable to do so. 

60 



SUNDAY P. M. 

Again, if we confine the public exercises of re- 
igion to Sunday, people begin to look upon the re- 
Iigious practice as exclusively a Sunday affair, with 
the result that they gradually, and perhaps uncon- 
sciously, get into the habit of minimizing even pri- 
yate devotions on weekdays. Let us not forget that 
there are people susceptible of scandal at our 
policy, admitting to themselves, and sometimes to 
others as well that we contrive to get everything 
ott our hands Saturday and Sunday in the hope of 
being free for the remaining five days. If we 
would have our people remember the injunction to 
pray always and give weekdays to God also, it is 
really important that the influence of the ministers 
of religion, in some way or other, bear more or 
less directly upon their daily lives. Our churches 
are open to them at all hours. We too must do 
something to help and encourage them if they are 
to have God before their minds day by day. 

RE-ARRANGEMENT OF PROGRAM 

To reduce the number of exercises usually as- 
signed to Sunday, where shall we commence? 
livery Sunday afternoon there are monthly meetings 
of societies or confraternities. Suppose we make 
the devotional feature of this monthly meeting con- 
sist in attending 7 or 7.30 p. m. Vespers, the ser- 
mon thereat being especially intended for the par- 
ticular society whose turn it is. This arrangement 
leed not necessarily exclude certain other members 
jf the congregation disposed to assist at Vespers 
regularly. It might be well, however, to insist 
that all central seats be reserved for members of 
the society. The church organization which on 
61 



Ui 



*i 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

such an occasion would fail to secure a generous 
response for a very larce proportion of its enroll- 
ment does least harm by becoming extinct. Any 
society unable to bring out a good attendance one 
Sunday m the month has little to live for. If our 
societies are as prosperous as it is in our power 
to make them, the evening service will edify. A 
rather low standard, it may be objected. Very 
true; but much higher than we are witnessing under 
""^present system — or lack of system. 

The above suggestion applies to cities and to 
towns with compact congregations, where the great 
majority of parishioners are within easy reach of 
the church. A country pastor will ordinarily secure 
better results by limiting the number of occasions 
for Vespers or evening devotions. When such ex- 
ercises are announced as a special event, demanded 
by the dignity of the feast, the character of the 
liturgical season, or a privilege only occasionally 
provided, a great many will endeavor to be on 
hand; when they take the form of a routine, a 
something occurring weekly with no definite objec- 
tive attached, all but a rare few will ignore them 
altogether. When the country pastor has two or 
mo-e churches to attend, he can secure an evening 
congregation almost every Sunday by judiciously 
distributing the opportunities among all. 

But whether in city or country or town, success 
will necessarily depend to a great extent on the char- 
acter of sermon they may expect to hear. When 
it bears evidence of importance in our own estima- 
tion and of special earnestness and care and effort 
in its preparation, people will instinctively look 
upon the occasion as worthy of effort on their part. 
If, on the contrary, we give them reason to suspect 
62 



SUNDAY P. M. 

S^Jflna'"!'*^ * k' ^'^l' *° *PP'"°»='' '" the hope 
tLvlXh^'t^^ without any special exertion, 
nir^.^r L 5^ to assume that no exertion is ex 
pected of them either. 

.nJJj' P^P"?"' *° ''^"d over the Vesper hour to 

'°WhIt J\^T^' '"7 .'"88"* tf"* "Ejection" 
for ,H U h*.'^°'"= °[ the catechetical instruction 
for adults enjoined by our Holy Father Pius 
Af 1 very much fear the tendency of the 
J°"/ »"8e«t' fhe objection: "What A« become 
ot itr- This legislation was received with world- 
wide acclaim only seventeen years ago. The hier- 
archy everywhere, pastors, religious, ecclesiastical 
publications foresaw in it the most beAeficial results! 
I^rankness obliges us to admit we have not made 
It a success. But the advisability of keeping a 
place for It among the Sunday exercises rather tLn 

do £>K V°/-r'^^'';( ''" "»"y had nothing to 
do with the failure. Our inability to make it in- 
teresting IS the real explanation. All our training 
and experience had been along lines entirely differ- 
ent. 1 hat a preacher spoke readily, fluently, con- 
secutively, eloquently, even forcibly' did not estab- 
lish his capacity to catechize. It was a new 
held for effort and most of us needed special train- 
ing in the art. Until our seminaries undertake to 
onr Hrt'.r''' ^l°"^.thf lines contemplated in 
our Holy Father's encyclical, failure will continue 
to be the prevailing condition. 

OTHER SUNDAY OBSERVANCES 

Are we possibly making the further mistake of 
exhorting our people too urgently on the impor- 
tance of attending Vespers and Benediction to the 
«3 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 
Catholic who fritters awav hn r.fi *"* 

eHf"/ fe^fir^' ''^^-^^^^^^^^^^ ^«: 

likelv to «et?.'iH ''' "i: ""'y-Rage publication is not 
that the notion of somfthing Tn [he ^ay of reft' 

pulp-t utterances'rarely touch thTubJ^S, he a"' 

b .1 r\*^S thing, we can accompC-fir, ' for' 

t « :cco„"dt'' P/P" '•'1^''"'°" to our ow" quar 

wa^es^X^'^hurMor'"' "'''"'"^ °«"'"« "'» 

icanvTr'rant o^nff: 1 ^"'i"!''" ^h" systemat- 
imiiy arrange or offer themse ves to take oart in 

Ts\°l'it" T"t"'''-.°r =°rporal woJkof'mer« 

small TsnofthtT^ir? ^""'^''^ '* '^amefug 
«"*". is not the fault to a great extent oiir«? 
From coast to coast how many of our puljit" are 
ths""o«1nH° "8"1"'5: °"tl'n« undertaking, of 

r^^n-fn--^'&-»tk? 
somehow or other we seem to lay undue emphases 
on such exercises and activities as we ourselves are 
personally and primarily taking part in There i! 
no congregation whose memberl may not find manv 

T°T"T. °^ '^°'"S ^ kindnesr People ne^ 
Klected and forgotten are everywhere. Sorne are 

in"valiH"^ V" ''°'P'*t T^'' "° ^"^"'J withl^ reach 
invalids who see only the same faces and live amid 

64 



SUNDAY p. M. 

important duties thev har7,ll J I '"*' '^'^"^ "" 
It may be safely asLSLri? ''"" "'^S'^"''"^? 

"IK the Sabbath Th ' ""'gation of sanctify. 

for „„„,„„ , d di„„„i„„, i'„:;™j„' "^ 

Ita loss of faith, invariihly followed 




SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



Hi 



THE MOST EFFECTIVE INSTRUMENT 

. If, then, among those around us good old prac- 
tices are passing away, it behooves us to stand at 
the helm, to once more tighten our grip and strug- 
gle vigorously to bring things back to where our 
staunch and faithful forebears left them. We shall 
accomplish little without having recourse to the ad- 
vantages we possess in the sacred tribunal. Very 
likely we shall find few penitents concerned about 
delinquencies of this sort, provided thev contrive to 
get to Mass Sunday morning. One is tempted to 
ask how great has been the endeavor to dispose of 
large crowds of penitents within a limited time, with 
the consequent conviction that it is impossible to 
consider anything beyond what is absolutely essen- 
tial; the almost feverish haste with which one ,■ .' -r 
another is admitted and dismissed being respons ;,ie 
for the people's failing to appreciate the impor- 
tance of spending the Sabbath better. When con- 
fessors will insist on having time to instruct where 
necessary, to exhort earnestly and fully, to point out 
duties overlooked, are we likely to find the faithful 
looking upon the hours after Mass solely as glorious 
opportunities for worldly pastime and distrac- 
tion? 

Theology tells us a good deal about remedial 
penances. What would be the effect, if, for the 
eternally enjoined litany, or rosary decade, or five 
Paters and Aves, we should substitute assistance at 
Vespers, a half-hour of religious reading, an occa- 
sional Sunday p. m. call at the indigent ward of the 
hospital, 1 few moments with the neglected, aged, 
or invalided, or the condescension required to while 
66 



SUNDAY P. M. 

away a small part of one's leisure hours tryina 
itru|gltngToorr°""«^'"'="* '° '""^ ""^-*-"' 

IS THE SUNDAY SCHOOL WORTH WHILE? 

I once heard a respectable pastor remark- "We 
got the Sunday School from tL Protestants in any 
case .t IS no use " This rather scathing criticism o? 
a universally adopted.institution some of us may be 
s ow to sympathize with. It has been given a fixed 

ft rl,;^.> 4 ''"P""^ ^'^P ^^'^ f™^ ^"d attention 
It Claims/ As a means of providing for the relis- 
lous instruction of young children does anyone point 
dehnitely to the great good it accomplishes, or re- 
gat^ Its possible discontinuance a calamity? 
A f ^'^^ many things to consider. 

1. Almost every priest in charge of souls has 
more leisure for this duty on weekdays than on 
Sundays. 

2. In almost every parish, no matter how varied 
ttie circumstances, children can be more conveniently 
assembled on weekdays. 

3. With only a few exceptions, lay people who 
can be secured to conduct Sunday-school classes arq 
not capable of anything effective. Their principal 
service consists in having children recite the words 
of the text-book, a task in which much better results 
can be secured by the parents. Young men and 
women who have spent years in Catholic colleges 
or academies, and are therefore to a degree pre- 
sumably qualified, are usually the most unwilling to 
take part in such work. Professional teachers, as a 
rule, claim exemption on the plea that the strain of 

67 



J" I 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

is thJt^h-^''",^^-'''^'"'^'^ °^ competent teachers 

and where, consequently, there is least need of it 

strucdon fiv';."^•°"'^''' 'TT'^<='^ ">" ^^"gi°"'' in- 
enough sn " ' T"'' ^""^ ^ g''t <"• t=" y"" is 

th\7 ^f,; c°"v'"ced are pupils of its sufficiency 
tLl^^^Tl ^""t^'PPl"^ preparation for the 
Sunday-school class, a c rcumstance which has much 
to do with the inattention and disorder frequently 
characterizing procedure there. qucntiy 

, Jki- " *[^J"'"* "" **>« defence maintains that as- 
sernbl.ng children every Sunday afternoon at least 
trains them to the habit of sanctifying Sunday. So 

nf,; '°rtw^o"','i?,'*' """""y find that they ac- 
quire the habit? When those year, are .yvj, do 

Sthfull/?' *"'"'"^ ''""*^ ^"P"' ""'^ B*n«<Jiction 
6 But unquMtionably the gravest objection to a 
Sunday school is the depriving parents of the most 
tavoraWe opportunity afforded them to instruct 
their own children two trips to church will gener- 

n !'^^.'''"''^■Vf^ \^"" '^^y- Certainly we must 
insist that children be made to realize something 
more is required than mere assistance at Mass; but 
why not also try to make parents realize that the 
obligation .s theirs primarily, and suggest practices 
they must undertake to enforce ? 
u ^ reply^in such terms as "visionary," hopeless," 
wasted effort," will not be at all unexpected. Ab- 
solute diffidence in the parents' willingness or capa- 
city to assume responsibilities essentially theirs is a 
widely prevailing sentiment, too frequently evi- 
denced both in word and in practice. Is it really 
68 ' 



SUNDAY P. M 

A NOVEL EXPERIMENT 

church bell is tolled itc . ""^^^^ "•' ^ ^^ ^*- t^e 

exercise in everv LJJ^ ru-?^ *" '^""''^ religious 

selv« ; ^"'°^" °* the household to occupy them 
selves in some wav su tahli- tr, tu^ ""-/-upy rnem- 

can can be reduced to an easi y manaeeable feL n 
great majority of the people shewing fehT^het an 

end ot about five or s,x weeks perhaps, an assem! 
69 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Wing of ail the children in the church is announced 
Ut course, the religious instruction of children is bv 
no means confined to these efforts, the essential pur- 
pose being to throw the responsibility of the proper 
Sunday observance upon the guardians of the home 
i^t us hope the experiment will not be a failure 



w-^ 



70 



^^^ 



Bf-* 






vuftsMUjxaixat^rMjas^iStAt.- 



CHAPTER IV 

Parish Societies— Their Struggles 

r\F church societies there is no end. As to their 

a^HlS"""'""/ '^7 '^ ^""^ difference of opinion 
and difference of result. There are few of us whC 
have not known pari.h organizations hire or there 

sor'' rt"*' "°"'''=-';f"i '^''"^' '" 'he cause o 
souls. There are still fewer who have not been 
face to face with sodalities and confraternities draff 
ging out a miserable existence and instrum n al fo^; 

deserve f„Jb" ^ """'^ '. ^'^ ^^''^f'^"' '"-'"ber 
in .11^ i,"''^^"' ""P"'^'^ "P«" fhem. There is 
in all this, however, no cause for discouragement 
Ihe matter is entirely in our ovn hands. There 
IZT'^U '^ possibilities for a successful society, 
and we all understand that a parish society is what 
he pnest in charge makes it. Without thi, energy 
It may live but if cannot prosper. Its prosperitr is 
usual y ,n keeping with the degree of intei^^t and 
attention he bestows upon it. Probably the onlv 
exception is the Knights of Columbus. For whatso- 
ever reason, that body has a power of development 
in Its own inherent vitality. 

Unfortunately, the ordinary priest, wheAer pas- 
tor, or assistant, has imposed on him a duty of nian- 
aging a society, or societies, without ever having 
been told how. Is there not something neglected 
here ( Is there not sud, a thing as showing the be- 
71 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

ginner what line of procedure to adopt, and sug- 
gesting activities which tend to stimulate interest 
and produce results m the right direction? The 
means of securing that succes?, which some pastors 
have arrived at only through years of intelligent ef- 
fort and experience, could surely be explained to the 
beginner. As our primary schools are conducted 
to-aay, very few, if any, of our most capable youns 
people could carry a class through its prescribed 
program of studies without a training in pedagosv 
at least ninety per cent of those who pass a year in 
a normal school, though many of them possess very 
ordinary attainments otherwise, do this work well 
mere is scarcely a business position for which a 
young man IS considered qualified without a thor- 
ough schooling in methods and details. Salesmen, 
travellers, insurance agents, book canvassers, pro- 
moters--all must be taught their lessons. Most of 
us would be astonished to hear of the number of 
night schools in larger cities whose purpose is to 
give instruction of this nature. Not the least part 
of this form of endeavor is the system of training 
the raw recruit how to meet and handle men. Con- 
ventions of one form of business or another are 
held regularly throughout the country with the same 
object m view. Could not the young priest also in 
this, the most practical, if not the most difficult, of 
his duties receive some help from the experience of 
H^ r ^^^^ ^°"^ before and won success? 
Hitherto in our seminaries the program of work 
has made little provision for this line of training, 
and works on Pastoral Theology, admirable beyond 
question in all they undertake, in the treatment of 
work among parish societies are disposed to exhort 
rather than suggest or direct. 
72 



'^mm ^TOK'. 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

little or"n°o ES^h^"' t"'' 'T' ^^^''^ »P^"d 

;? to b^e f ine?t^rcoSeSi1'^:fe t' t^'^ 

trwo^trtheY/i"'^ '1 «-"- and^nortt 

Never°hele« w ''''^"'"" '"' destruction, 

arisififf With t>,« I, t-upe witti the difficulties 

furthe^; diS:Lfof'rsuts^^^;e„^^„rtn"^ 

^ple, and certain devotional p;actices f^itj the 
latter in particular this essay is concerned 
73 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

n,.^)!" '"?'' ^■'". °''J"* to the principle that the 
number of societies should be Lited. Soc eties 
<n unrestricted numbers are mutually destructive 
well if^he'^r P."'*'''?"f ^' ''• •" or wo'man, is doing 
Tne Anv^^'T ?'"u"'^ '^^ "'^ requirements of 
one. Any society ,s beii^r dead and unheard of 
than existing and unprosperous. A societytith 
only a small proportion of faithful members defeats 
othe Thr^'h' ^"■i '"""d of encouraging one an- 
TJ^IrJ members become a mutual source of dis- 

tound to suffice: one each for men, boys, youne 
ladies, and married women, respectively. ^ 

THE MEN 

doS".*"-"!! '•''""'' organization in our day has 
aone, or is doing, so much to promote among men 

HoSi ^''^t'=j:r the explanation, there is un- 
doubtedly something, either in its origin or pur- 
pose which especialTy appeals to men. That non- 
Latholics and the public press generally are every- 

7n^Z'Z^n fT"" ^ generous admiration for 
any strictly Catholic organization is, to say the 
least, significant. The day is probably at hand 
when practically every parish in the land will have 
'ts branch of this salutary Society. 

Whether general Communions should be monthly 

Z ''"uw'J'' ^^^-^"^^ *="*'''^ly °" the other ques- 
tion-- What object does the pastor wish to fur- 
tner .' is it frequent Communion for a large num- 
ber of men already well disposed, or regular Com- 
m«nion for all? By vigorous efforts on the part of 
the pastor or director a fairly large proportion will 
74 



PARISH SOCIETIES 



thescXm?"'^ " 'r" '°^ """^ *'■'"«• But are 

general Communion in a term o7 ^;Llff 
brought delinquents to the ^a'ed tr £l ''"bv 
delmquents" I mean men who had neglected their 
Easter duty for periods of less or greater duration 
1 nuVrrrk ^"'■^'^y "f note that more than once 
a quarterly Communion of the Holy Name Soeletv 
he'r^uTt ^/'"•'"-'f.^PP-i'ch the r'ailing than'S 
tne result of a week's mission for men exclusivelv 
conducted toward the close of these samedgt 

Similar reasons exist for the quarterly meetinc 
Jew men will attend monthly meetings^•TS"fy 
from pure devotion; not r^any will atLd ^,cc a 
7i 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 
S^' So'L:''T '^' '"^''*'"8 '» ""'d^ « social 

that will almost certainly come back ^h^n^» »• 
we must labor to secure'^it aT any cost Whe n""- 
can arrange for a meeting on theVunday afternoon 
qua? terirr °'^'' ^''' '••^mediately prcced ng the 
other inn"""""'""' ""-^ ''^•P" t° announcf the 
occasion rf-"", '° T"""^"'^ '"f'r"t on the 
nnmW c " =''t°g«her advisable to appoint a 

dryt'^^llPrtfcairnP"'";;' ^^ districKos: 
«,;»k- '\r'" "« to call personally on each member 
with,„ h.s precmct a few days previous to theTuar 
eJthT V«- Every prefect%hould be made to 
feel that his absence from a meeting or general 

tbn"""BT: ■^'■'^' '^'■""^"^"fi" ^"^ for the pos! 
tion. B^ assignmg certain pews to each district on 
the mornmg of general Communion we shall enable 

ofS '° ^u'' ? """r '•""^'^ "^ the a ndan e 
tLnZ T^"f ^"^ '^^y"'■• Strict attention on 
the part of prefects to these details, coupled with 
vigorous announcements from M,e pulpit will not 
suffice to brmg out every mar faithfully evTn four 
t^mes a year; we shall be surprised to' lei n how 
many can ignore the appeal. The best results can^ 
D° tor nr """^ '^T °^ ^P"''^"^' visit from the 
frnrn^l, ""'."^ '"' ^*»'='t«"ts. Apart entirely 

ftTnn^''"""' '"'T''\^^ '^^ "°'y Name Society! 

1 IS not too much that the more or less responsive 

class enjoy the vsit of a priest four times a Jear 

76 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

of the Holy Name Society is practicali; assured 
When meetings come onlv at fhp ,„-? r !l 

c!th^V t Sacrament, a lecture by some Driest or 

1 velv anH th. '"f"" . see that the meetmgs are 
"veiy and the occasions ol rcre vintr fh^ Cn^- \. 

devotional and orderly. Provide rLfl. ^^"^'"'="t' 
ous enough not to £n f/""^'' '^°"f«sors numer- 

on Sunday morn'ng; ^"epa" ,' S^rl^T"" "''' 
suitable to the occasion have thL i '^""°""= 

gational singing— a hvmn nr V '"'^P'^' ?°"Sre- 

77 



MICROCOPY RFSOIUTION TEST CHART 

(ANSI ood ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




^ APPLIED IK/HGE Inc 

^F 'S^^ Eost Moin Street 

r-,S Rochester. Ne* Tcrfc U60<J USA 

■^S (716) *a2 - 0300 - Phone 

gas (716) 28B - 5989 - F<j« 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



this with scrupulous attention and refer to it regu- 
larly when addressing meetings or speaking of the 
Society from the pulpit. The Holy Name Journal 
strongly recommends assuming charge of certain 
parish activities with a view to imparting interest 
in something over and above the prescribed devo- 
tional practices. The manner of carrying out this 
suggestion will necessarily vary with the conditions 
obtaining in particular parishes. It is always im- 
portant, however, that work undertaken with this 
object be such as to command the interest and in- 
vite the cooperation of all the members. 

Certain dioceses have a central executive com- 
mittee, which is really necessary to arrange for an- 
nual processions and for other undertakings that 
several branches unite to carry out. Like all cen- 
tral administrations to which a federation of local 
organizations gives rise, its tendency is to usurp 
functions strictly within the competence of the in- 
dividual body. Herein is a serious danger. Each 
branch must be jealous of its autonomy and insist 
upon exercising full control over all its doings 
within the parish, and over such movements as are 
carried through by the local organization without 
the assistance of other branches. The n'ore any 
branch asserts its independence in managing its own 
affairs, the greater service it will render itself and 
the Holy Name Society as a diocesan body. The 
qualification for rendering valuable service is vig- 
orous life in the individual called upon for service. 



THE BOYS 



A junior Holy Name Society for boys under 
eighteen years of age is much easier to conduct. 
78 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

Generally it is wise to keep the age of admission 
well advanced. The line may safely be drawn 
about twelve, or better perhaps, at the reception of 
Confirmation. The younger boys will look ahead 
ambitiously to this promotion, while it is instinctive 
with those of sixteen or seventeen to resent being 
associated in any way with children of lower grades. 
Of course, monthly Communion must always be the 
standard here. Universal conformity to this can 
be secured, though it will probably be found neces- 
sary to keep an exact record of attendance on each 
occasion and to insist that every case of absence 
be accounted for. Any system for carrying this 
out will very soon give adequate results. I know 
of no means at once so simple and so effectual as 
that of immediately notifying the parents of the 
absent member and requesting them to have him 
make up for the delinquency within a day or two. 
Filling in the blanks on a printed postal card con- 
veying this message and bearing the signature of 
the Reverend Director is the work of only a few 
seconds and invariably insures amendment next 
month. The parent is rare indeed who fails to 
appreciate this evidence of a pastor's or assistant's 
interest in his or her boy, and in the boys generally. 
The effects may often be far-reaching, even beyond 
all expectations, and there is not the slightest dan- 
ger of most sensitive parents resenting this plain 
intimation of neglected duty on their part. An 
occasional friendly remark will make the older boys 
understand how much depends on their example. 
Should the boys of seventeen take the liberty of 
excusing themselves from regular attendance, the 
boys of sixteen will soon claim the same privilege. 
If a religious society has one purpose more than 
79 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

another, it is surely that of inspiring the greatest 
reverence for the Sacraments and teaching its mem- 
bers to receive them not only regularly but also w-ith 
all possible devotion. Accordingly, as a training 
for the future, as well as to insure a fitting prepar- 
ation for Holy Communion, insist that all who are 
free to do so, go to confession on Saturday. The 
boys who work Saturday afternoon and evening; 
should have the fullest assurance of an opportunity 
to go to confession Sunday morning. On thr^se 
Sunday mornings a priest is quite justified in asking 
all other penitents to relinquish their place near the 
confessional in favor of boys who have been at 
work Saturday afternoon and evening. 

The Reverend Director, who should remain with 
them during Mass, will reserve a number of news 
for their use, preferably near the altar, and" will 
have them take their places in an orderly manner, 
wearing badges, and never without a prayer book. 
It is much better to see that each boy read his own 
book attentively than to fill up that hour with cer- 
tam devot'ons made in common, such as reciting 
the beads, singing hymns, or repeating certain 
prayers in roncert. We are all so much creatures 
of habit thai- in this formative stage the method of 
assisting at Mass and making thanksgiving after 
Communion should be just that which they can al- 
ways practice with greatest benefit in after life. 
The boys' society, and for that matter all societies, 
should have precedence in going to the railing on 
their respective days of general Communion. In 
churches where giving Communion takes up from 
ten to twenty minutes this regulation means a great 
deal, and members who are faithful to the society 
will be encouraged by this mark of favor. 
80 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

A more lively attachment to the society can be 
mamtamed where it is possible to conduct an ath- 
letic organization in connection with it. A club 
room, reading matter, debates, etc., mean little to 
the majority of boys under eighteen, and something 
in common, outside the religious exercises, is very 
desirable. Failing everything else, the director can 
get them together on special occasions; it is alto- 
gether advisable to have them take part in church 
processions, entertainments, etc.; an outing now 
and then is everywhere possible. It is important, 
of course, that the call upon the society is one in 
which the members can participate. 



THE YOUNG LADIES 

It would seem almost heterodox not to associate 
the name of the Sodality B. V. M. with this por- 
tion of the congregation. I am not sure that I 
have ever understood the exact purpose of this now 
long widespreac' titution. In many parishes the 
qualifications for membership tend to make it select 
and exclusive. Only those who can promise exem- 
plary strictness of conduct, even to the extent of 
giving up much of what is sanctioned by custom, is 
considered eligible. A limited number of young 
women leading lives truly edifying can thus be 
guaranteed. The effect upon the entire congrega- 
tion must be wholesome. A higher standard of 
piety IS put forward; frequentation of the Sacra- 
ments IS encouraged; a small body of willing 
workers is available for certain lines of church 
work; many little services in the way of decorating 
the altar can be counted on. 

When all is said and done, however, we cannot 
8i 



■;'jl 



It - 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

help feeling that they who least need looking after 
are receiving our special attention. Are sodality 
meetings merely pious occasions filling in an idle 
hour on Sunday for young women whose strictness 
of living preserve them from the temptation of 
spending Sunday afternoons elsewhere? We assist 
at meetings, prepare sermons for them, busy our- 
selves with what is going on, all the time realizing 
that our efforts are in behalf of the d>;vout and 
well-behaved few, not of the young, or unprotected, 
or indifferent. 

What can we do for the large majority who con- 
stitute this latter class? Will the canonically 
erected Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, with its 
lofty ideals and fixed rules, admit local modifica- 
tions such as to throw open its doors to all? And 
if not, are there not parishes in which some other 
organization less rigidly instituted might he an 
instrument of greater go. for a greater number? 
Now that our cities are filled with young women 
earning a living under ever-varying conditions, 
away from home, isolated, not under any special 
religious influences, exposed to dangers more or 
less threatening, are we not called upon to include 
them in our schemes for promoting good or forti- 
fying against evil? But this we cannot have, if 
admission depends upon many pious observances or 
giving up many practices which society is tolerating. 
Suppose our chief end be that every young lady 
in the parish without an exception approach the 
Sacraments regularly — at least once a month — 
trusting to other means and influences to promote 
frequent Communion among those so disposed, how 
can it be accomplished? 

The very first condition of success is probably the 
82 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

fixing of an age limit. Any priest who has had 
the direction of a Sodality knows how much the 
younger portion object to identifying themselves 
with assemblages or public gatherings in which a 
considerable number of the more advanced in years 
are prominent, and it is always this latter class who 
appear most faithfully when devotional exercises 
or churcli work is the object. A line has ti be 
drawn, no matter how delicate the undertaking. I 
knew a pastor who was accustomed to face the situ- 
ation with the following announcement : "We re- 
quire all the girls to attend Sunday school until 
they are fifteen years of age at least; for the next 
nine or ten years we shall endeavor to do all we 
can for them in the Sodality; but after that they 
must look after themselves the best they can." 
Thus it was made clear tiiat all single ladies beyond 
a certain age were not eligible for membership. 

If there are some young women in the congrega- 
tion whose families are possessed of wealth, or en- 
joy a certain social prestige, their attendance at 
Sodality meetings must be strenuously insisted upon. 
A Sodality director has to deal with people keenly 
sensitive to any evidence of class distinction. 
There is always a very large number who, having 
to choose between being absent with the socially 
recognized or present with the housemaid and fac- 
tory girl, will soon come to a decision. T'le con- 
sequences to the Sodality are fatal. Membership 
must be made fashionable. Good Catholic families 
blessed with some worldly importance can be made 
to understand this, and should be induced to make 
good use of the influence God has placed in their 
control. Under such circumstances it is generally 
better to look upon the Sodality as a purely reli- 
83 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

gious orRanization, not imposing obligations of a 
social nature. There may be several most exem- 
plary at every call and capable of real leadership 
m church work who jealously claim the privilege of 
social exclusion. "Not Genuine Christianity" — 
some one may rejoin. Perhaps so, but why' feel 
obliged to attempt the impossible? 

When the aim is to assemble all, one meeting 
in the month will be found sufficient. This sup- 
poses a strict insistence on full attendance and 
pains being tal<cn to make the occasion wortli while. 
When a sermon carefully selected, carefully pre- 
pared, interesting, adapted to the audience, may be 
expected, there is little difficulty in securing a gen- 
erous response. We are often heard deploring the 
decline of religious sentiment, perhaps of true wom- 
anly character, among the young ladies of our day. 
\\e know how many have received but limited in- 
struction, how many are left almost entirely with- 
out guidance, what room there is for enlightenment 
among the so-called better classes; and no priest in 
charge of souls can feel guiltless should he fail to 
make the most of an opportunity such as is afforded 
by a well attended Sodality meeting. Their choice 
of company, their reading, pleasure-seeking, condi- 
tions of employment, irregular hours, extravagance 
of means and health, their future prospects', the 
subject of vocation, Christian-like preparation for 
marriage, the evils of mixed-marriage, and many 
other similar topics supply material for an almost 
endless list of sermons which every young woman 
will follow with interest, nnd which cannot fail to 
influence her present and after life. A meeting 
without something in the way of instruction attracts 
a few; one meeting monthly well atter led irives 
84 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

results much more valuable than two or three half- 
attended. 

Ihcre is a considerable number ot voung women 
willing, anxious, to give some time to real works of 
zeal, lliere are several others seeking pastime in 
less desirable pursuits who can be induced to take 
part in the activities promoted by the church. A 
thriving Sodality can become a medium of further- 
ing such undertakings, all of which will serve to 
give It strength and maintain the interest of its 
members. It is still better when a variety of em- 
ployments can be found such as will appeal to the 
tastes of different members. Some will evince a 
rare capacity for decorating the altar and looking 
after the sanctuary furnishings; others are invalu- 
able in the work of instruction whether among 
illiterate adults or conducting a Sunday school class; 
others may do much to develop the parish library. 
Then there are such works of charity as visiting 
poor patients in public hospitals and in certain 
homes. Every city pastor is thinking of perma- 
nent invalids, never able to leave their homes or 
perhaps their beds. Often they are poor and un- 
known. They try to wear in the long hours day 
after day with little or no means of distraction 
and rarely a caller. What an event in their sad, 
dull lives would be the visit of a couple of bright 
young girls willing to show then, a kindness and 
do somethinf^ to cheer their loneliness. Needless 
to add, what a benefit to the young women them- 
selves, particularly to the young women whose 
homes atford the luxury of ample means and every 
variety of pleasure. Many of our wealthy or 
well-to-do Catholics give generously to the poor; 
how few visit them regularly in their homes, how 
8S 



SOMr PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

rewer still try to understand the lives of the struR- 
fl 7 l;ibori„K class hy putting themselves in con- 
tact with the conditions under which their families 
have to exist. I'crhaps they do not dare; the suf- 
fenn^s of the po ,■ miffht he a reproach to the'- 
own self-seekmg: they could no longer enjoy their 
many comforts with the same complacenc/; on the 

7oYLrt"f:r' '' "^"\^ ""' '" '''"^ know 
too much of these people. \„w it is precisely for 
such reasons th.at younK ladies of mean, and leisure 
n a Sodality shou d be induced to visit regularly 
the needy and suffering. I will go suil further 
At the present day many young women drive auto- 
reall'v'f'.n'i'-'' ^'"'"'"''^ i' '■■'"'"'^"^ '•'" fhev are 
U occurs to them to share a drive in the op.n air 

Tnd ve'T" ^'T "■'"'"!■>■, "ho has parsed months 

and years with no possible means of getting away 

from the monotony of her cheerless quarters 

hus, ,„ a large city parish especially, occupations 

and make them reali/.e that their religion calls for 
something gene-ous and self-sacrificilig on their 

. Aside from the celebration of the greater feasts 
m honor of Our Lady, it may be well no To ns st on 
assembling the Sociality for extraordinary de^o. 
ions. Some hing, however, can easily be done in 
he wav of visits to the Blessed Sacrament in pr" 
vate. 1 here is positively no member who wi'l not 

many will do more A schedule assigning each a 

oar Uhe "' '" '""i'" ^""venience.will in large 

parishes secure attendance upon our Lord on the 

altar during the greater part of the time The 

86 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

Director "" "" P'"' "^ ''"-• '^"'"'■■"J 



Tin; \V(j.\ii:\ 

In concIuctinR societies for the benefit ,.f the three 
cla ses already dealt with, the ^reat ettnrt lie i,! 

imlmfT n.eans of inducin,. them u, attend. n ar 
M' o'inK tor meetuiKS of the women of the parish 

han .Tr •'"' '/'""'■•;" "'■ "«"'".^' induceme ts 
lent to be present. As a class they need little 

V\ .leM.er It he the Confraternity of Christian .\[„ti: 
c.s, ux Apostleslnp of Prayer, the LeaRue of tie 

™s"t;ir''r "'""= ""r ^™'''^'- -^-i'^ion 

matters little, if wc can make it possible for all to 
be present at the monthly Communion and at the 
rgular meeting. Here then is the first quest on 
that a director will have to study. The holy-days 
of obligation, Good ^-Viday, and'some other daj 

fromTh ? ^^fr ""' ^"PP^'^'J f" ^'>™ relief 
from the stress of home duties will probablv afford 
th^e best opportunities of assembling for a meet- 

The works of zeal in which members of ihe or- 
ganization are asked to take part should cons st of 

the home Discourses prepareu with this end in 
view should a;m not merely at pohitina out what 
practices memh_ rs can ha^-e cultivateri^ The 
homes, but also in teaching them in detail how these 
are to be conducted. Perhaps we all fail to a cer- 
in extent in this particular. We exhort; we urce 
87 



SOME PASTORS PROBLEMS 

tlie necessity ami importance of home training in 
a general way; we deplore the lack of it; we con- 
ilcmn mercilessly the neglineiue of parents, quite 
forgettinn that reforms rarely come through the 
most eloquent denunciations of evil, and that a very 
great de.nl could be accomplished by any mother 
who realizes in detail just what is expected of her 
and knows how to set about it. To explain what 
I mean I would suggest something like the follow- 
ing as a hst of subjects for instruction: 

The morning prayer of young children; 

Morning prayer among the older members; 

Family evening pray»i ; 

Recitation of the Rosary; 

Prayers before and after meals; 

Prayers upon retiring and rising; 

Prayers in time of temptation and danger, etc.; 

Preparation of children for confession ; 

Preparation for first Communion; 

A series of instructions explaining the method 
of teaching the Catechism in the home; 

How parents may have their children approach 
the Sacraments regularly; 

Insisting that children make a proper thanks- 
giving after Communion; 

With what prayer books a family should be 
provided; 

Singing of hymns in the home; 

Subseribmg to and reading Catholic papers; 

Lists of religious books, Catholic stories, etc. 
to be provided for the hom.e from time to 
time; 

Supplying the home with sacred pictures, stat- 
ues, and objects of piety generally; 

Importance of wearing the scapular; 



PARISH SOCIETIES 

Necessity of correction and punishment; 

Ilie (iut!cs parents l,..ve of training their chil- 
ilren in habits of inilustry; 

The danger of aciiuirinm habits of self- 
indulKcnci; and pleasure eekinf,': 

Insistiiifr on the observance of proper hours; 

(juardniK tl'.tm against dangerous associates 
ami associations; 

Children spoiled by -o much money; 

How parents may encourage home amuse- 
ments; 

What amusements to forbid. 
Each of the a ,vc is quite sufficient for a dis- 
tinct instruction, some for two or more. The list 
It will be seen at a glance, is far from -xhaustivei 
Dut It at least suggests the immense possibilities for 
good ying before us if we c^n succeed in rcularlv 
assembling the mothers o^ the congregation and 
make an ordinary reasona .e effort to explain to 
them how to approach the peculiar duties of their 
position. 

Keeping up a general Communion mr hly, they 
will look after themselves with the minii m assist- 
ance from the priest in charge. There will always 
oe a few delinquents, however, a few offerin<r pre- 
texts for declining to be enrolled in the society 
1 know no remedy for this unless it be unremitting 
at ention. The director may find it necessary to 
call on such members regularly. For the sake of 
the example they owe their children, no trouble is 
too great in order to secure their faithful attend- 
ance, ^o matter how well church and school are 
conducted, there is little prospect of a growing-up 
family realizing their religious duties if the mother 
can allow herself to remain indifferent 
89 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Although the number of societies be kept down 
to four, it is still evident that no one priest can 
look after all in such a way as to bestow on each 
the_ time and energy necessary to their proper 
maintenance. Wherever possible, it is desirable 
that the director's attendance be confined to one 
single organization. 

In the confessional we have at our disposal anr 
other very effective means of promoting the inter- 
ests of societies whose purpose is devotional. We 
shall meet penitents to whom membership in such 
organizations would be a very decided benefit; 
we shall meet others already members to whom we 
can suggest no more practical means of assistance 
in their pepjliar circumstances than strict fidelity 
to the rules of their society. When all confessors 
attached to the church understand they are expected 
to give attention to this line of procedure, much 
will be done among all classes of the congregation 
to invigorate the life of and show respect for the 
different societies and sodalities. 



90 



CHAPTER V 

Can Mixed Marriages Be Entirely 
Done Away With? 



■' I '■HE Right Reverend Bishop, it was generally 
■■■ understood, exercised a strict policy in the 
matter of dispensations for mixed marriages, but 
all the early years of my ministry having been 
passed in a country parish, where there was no dis- 
position among the faithful to associate with non- 
Catholics, it was a matter for discussion on theo- 
logical principles rather than one of any practical 
interest. Later, on my appointment to a city par- 
ish, it became evident that what had afforded 
hitherto a favorite topic for an after-dinner argu- 
ment was now to be a real live issue. Even then, 
although prepared to cooperate scrupulously with 
the instructions of the bishop, whose policy on this 
question I had always supported in theory, I never- 
theless felt convinced that inevitably every year I 
should find myself performing a number of mar- 
riage ceremonies in the rectory. My parish em- 
braced a considerable portion of the residential 
section of the city and a number of the families 
were supposed to be in society, a circumstance which 
gave confirmation to my forecast of the situation. 
It never had really occurred to me that there could 
be such a thing as entirely doing away with the 
91 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

evil in any locality. I was altogether taken by sur- 
prise on facing the issue, on the first occasion pre- 
sented, to find the bishop quite sanguine of accom- 
plishing something very near to this desirable 
result. I soon realized that such dispensations 
were to be of the very rarest occurrence, and that 
I was expected to play a strenuous part in dealing 
with the cases that would come under my con- 
sideration. 

With the bishop only one remedy practically was 
contemplated. He considered that a Catholic was 
under the greatest obligation to work for the con- 
version of the non-Catholic who was proposed as 
his or her partner for life, that most Catholics did 
not realize this obligation, or, if they did, had only 
vague hopes of its fulfilment, and that it devolved 
upon pastors to bring home to all a sense of this 
obligation, and to be ready to give to the under- 
taking every assistance that lay within their power. 
The laity must be taught faith in the power of 
prayer to enlighten those who know not God; the 
individual young person must be taught patience 
and firmness, and must be ready to make sacrifices 
when necessary; and the non-Catholic party must 
be fully instructed in Catholic truth and practices. 

Other devices for stemming the evil, now in gen- 
eral practice in large cities, were receiving very 
little attention in ours. Little or nothing was done 
to bring young people together by means of pas- 
times and amusements. Parish dances and parish 
dancing-halls were forbidden; garden parties, ex- 
cursions, bazaars, received so little encouragement 
that they had almost ceased to be heard of; all 
this in a city where not more than one-eighth of 
the population was Catholic, and where, through 
92 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

conditions of employment, our Catholic young peo- 
p^ were necessarily making many acquaintances 
among non-Catholics. 

The bishop realized all this but claimed that the 
one great effectual means of preventing mixed mar- 
riages was in the hands of ecclesiastical authority 
m making them impossible, or, at least, very diffi- 
2';il°fu^"'""7""^- Through this opposition, and 
with the zealous cooperation of his priests, he 
hoped to make the faithful understand that the con- 
vers.on of the non-Catholic party, and not permis- 
son to marry him or her in error and prejudice, 

Ti rl ""^»^"'"g a™ of every dutiful child 
or the Church. 

heSi^J ""^ wholesome result of this stand soon 
became evident in the view which Catholic families 
did actually take of the situation. Parents no 

aoDlicltrn"'/^''"!?-^"' ^'^"' *° ''^^"' -hat an 
delav nnH ' dispensation would mean endless 

delay and worry, and very likely disappointment. 
thi .u ' T^'f'^ marriages must be a greater evil 
than they had ever really understood before I 
was time to discourage so much association of their 
children with those outside the Church. Thev were 
more anxious to assemble Catholic young people in 
heir homes and, should there be a member of the 
famly whose marriage with a non-Catholic was ac- 

saw ^hr.H° "'T?''""?' ^"' ^°'^ °'d ^nd young, 
IZJu- ^'^^"'a'">:'y °( some effort being made to 
effect h.s conversion. Then, as a consequence of 

ts li'st'of c°ir""'"'' --y.P^n^h reLry had 
wn„M k . )• ^""""' ""'^^ instruction. But it 
would be tedious to trace in detail the result, nf 
the stern pol cy adopted by the bishop on this verv 
critical question; suffice it to state that within thi 
93 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

space of seven or eight years the toleration of 
mixed marriages had almost come to an end 
throughout the diocese, while the number of con- 
verts on the occasion of marriage had grown in 
like proportion. 

As far as I am informed, these results were uni- 
versal. I can speak with accuracy however, only of 
my own parish. Within its limits during the past 
nine years the number of marriages in which one 
of the contracting parties became a convert was 
one hundred and twenty-two. In that same time 
three dispensations were granted. In two of these 
cases It was impossible for the non-Catholic parties 
to find an opportunity for instruction; the third 
asked to have his admission to the Church deferred 
in consideration for his parents. During those 
nine years two, having been refused dispensations 
at home, estnblished a domicile in another diocese, 
and four, on refusal, presented themselves before 
a Protestant minister. It is worthy of remark that 
m each of these four cases the non-Catholic 
party was willing to become a Catholic if requested, 
and was actually prevented from so doing by the 
Catholic party— a circumstance much more common 
than we should have at first imagined. During 
three years the record was as follows: 



1911. 

Total number of marriages 2^ 

Marriages with one party a convert .'.". i^ 

Mixed marriages '''[ j 

igi2. 

Total^ number of marriages -,4 

Marriages with one party a convert ...'....'. it 

Mixed marriages ..!!!!!!]!!' o 

94 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

Total number of marriages 

Marriages with one party a convert ..'.'.'.'. , , 

Mixed marriages ^ 

These converts include representatives of all 
classes of society, laboring men, domestic servants, 
lawyers, physicians, prominent business men, sons 

Prlhv^^ "n °^- '"'■"r"?''-"- The Methodist, 
Presbytenan, Baptist, Anglican, and Lutheran de- 
nominations, all contributed their share; there were 

F?.?lf "* ^""'^^y "=}'°r?^ teachers. Orange Men, 
Free Masons sons of Protestant clergymen; one 
was a son of the Grand Master of the Masons. 
\1Z ""^°n'"'°n'y embracing the Faith entailed, at 
Jf« M°^ ^'T^ ''■^'"«'. ^^^ severance of all family 
ties, the los? jf a situation, and even the forfeiting 
of an inheritance. 'ciuug 

is '^'WhT."i;-°!l ^^'''}i "^turally arises at this stage 

be?" After'^h ° ^''^i'" "^"^ '^'y *"^" °"t t° 
tat on in I *'"^.^'°"^^t observation I have no hesi- 
tation m answering that no other class of mv con- 
gregation afforded so large a proportion oT'fa'th- 

camelS'Ii,'"A'''TP'"?: *^^*''°"" ^' 'hose who 
N^L K "^ ^^u"'}" r ^^^ °"^''°" of marriage. 
No one who watched the steadily increasing interest 
aroused in those new attendants at Mass and devo 
tions their perseverance assured beyond all hazard 

emarSl '° "°l' '^'' '^ S--"* f"""" behind this 
remarkable result was the fervor and example of 

menS in '^r-'^' "^ '^"^^^"'^ ^'"' ^'^'^ been Fnstru- 
men al m their conversion. Indeed no inconsid- 

F vi' Sa.n in events of this kind is the reviValof 

Faith and religious practice in the Catholic partv 

h.mself or herself, who realizes the responsS 

95 ' 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

assumed in bringing another within the Fold. As 
a general rule, therefore, the perseverance of the 
convert will depend upon the person whom he mar- 
ries. Of the one hundred and twenty-two men- 
tioned above only four have become indifferent, and 
the delinquency of the four is clearly due to the ne- 
glect and indifference of their Catholic wives. I 
have never known a conver*^ to cease the practice 
of his religious duties who had the good fortune, 
or rather I should say, the Grace, to share his fate 
for life with a strict, staunch, devoted Catholic. 
However unpromising his dispositions may have ap- 
peared at the outset, however full of prejudices his 
training, however uncongenial to his tastes were 
Catholic sentiments and associations and the routine 
of the Church's ceremonial, the unwavering example 
of a true Catholic wife, her unflinching attention 
to every religious practice, at church or in the 
home, the surrounding of his life with a real healthy 
Catholic atmosphere, sooner or later awakened in 
his heart an appreciation of the Church's teachings, 
a love for her devotional exercises, and a willing- 
ness to conform, even in the minutest detail, to 
all the observances suggested by her ritual and her 
unceasing ixhortations. Not only that: every pas- 
tor has met with the fervent convert whose Catho- 
lic husband or wife is anything but exemplary in 
his or her religious duties. There is no picture 
more touching than the embarrassment of the neo- 
phyte who, for the first time in life, has begun to 
understand God's ways, and to whom the Sacra- 
ments and the Holy Sarrifice of the Mass are al- 
ready such precious treasures, deploring the indif- 
ference, the callousness of her suppose ! Catholic 
96 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

husband. There was one young woman whose 
marriage was followed by the early death of her 
husband; left without any means, she has remained 
true to her religion, notwithstanding the bitter op- 
position of her parents and relatives. 

The Ecclesiastical Review has on more than 
one occasion recorded similar experiences in con- 
tributions from the able pen of the Rev. A. B. C. 
Dunne, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. No doubt, from 
many parishes throughout the country the same 
story can be told. Already I have heard of more 
than one pastor to whom Father Dunne's articles 
came as an inspiration, and who, on making the 
experiment for themselves, announce results equally 
gratifying. If such experiences point to any gen- 
eral conclufljn, it is the possibility of introducing 
many to the light and practice of the one True 
Faith through the very circumstances which it was 
thought could eventuate in nothing but the ever- 
dreaded mixed marriage. They even seem to sug- 
gest that marriage is, in the designs of Providence, 
one of the principal means of having the Truth 
accepted among many of those who for generations 
have been hostile to the Church, and by a still 
larger number who, through error or indifference 
to all religious sentiment, would have passed their 
lives in utter forgetfulness of God and their own 
eternal interests. In this connexion we are re- 
minded of a remark made by Paulist Fathers who 
have been engaged for years on non-Catholic Mis- 
sions, to the effect that ninety-five per cent of their 
con\'erts are either those intending to marry a Cath- 
olic, or who have already been married to a Cath- 
olic. Father Dunne, I think, has made a far- 
97 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

reaching observation in his contention, that con- 
versions will be mostly of individuals, and not of 
masses. 



The course of in^ruction preparatory to mar- 
riage brings conviction to many, who without more 
ado ask to be received into the Church. But there 
is a number, considerably large, for whom this in 
itself is not sufficient. With the instruction it is 
iiecessary that the non-Catholic understand that 
marriage is absolutely out of the question if he can- 
not conscientiously acctpt Catholic doctrine. There 
are many devout Catholics .o-day who owe their 
submission to the Church, after God's grace, to the 
presence of this condition. Because of its theo- 
logical, as well as practical aspect, therefore, I shall 
ask the reader to bear patiently with me in a rather 
lengthy discussion of its bearings. 

We all know Catholics, individuals and families, 
with whom a mixed marriage would not he con- 
templated under any consideration. Now, some- 
times in these very homes the persistent suitor hap- 
pens to be a non-Catholic. There is never any 
doubt in our minds what the outcome will be; 
sooner or later his conversion is assured, and that 
before the marriage takes place. A very typical 
example of this is the incident pictured by Father 
Sheehan in My New Curate. No more unlikely 
prospect for conversion could have been imagined 
than that of the gentleman who sought the hand 
of Britta Campion. Nevertheless no one follow- 
mg that story page by page had any fear for the 
results. The reader's assurance was based entirely 
98 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

on his conviction that Britta was too true a Cath- 
olic ever to marry on^- without the Faith. Pos- 
sessed of a keen, penetrating intelligence, honestly 
willing to be convinced, receiving every assistance 
from a learned, zealous pastor, he appeared in the 
end as far away from the Truth as at the com- 
mencement. The patience, the determined attitude 
of Britta, and the resourcefulness that comes of 
devotion to a purpose, at length enabled grace to 
find its way through the ma/.es of error that 
clouded this brilliant, but misguided soul. When 
we shall have succeeded in bringing o'-.r Catholic 
laity to take the same determined stand, conversions 
will follow just as surely, and the mixed marriage 
will be a thing of the past. Let us not forget, how- 
ever, that our success will be limited without th.. 
manner of cooperation at the hands of the inter- 
ested Catholic. 

But in this we shall have our difficulties — very 
great ones — in inspiring our young people with the 
necessary courage; for we must in all reasonable- 
ness take account of the fact that for many young 
people this event means everything in life. They 
are not willing to accept the alternative of aban- 
doning the prospect of a marriage which seems in 
every other way desirable, and which all their friends 
are recommending. "Suppose," they argue with 
themselves, "the non-Catholic could not or would 
not accept the Church's teaching — what has the fu- 
ture to offer me?" Should we not frequently be 
asking too great a sacrifice? Or ca.. ~s always 
assure young people, so situated, that their firmness 
and patience and prayers will inevitably be re- 
warded with the conversion of the non-Catholic? 
An old pastor of my acquaintance was accustomed 
99 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

to give a vigorous as well as a very practical an- 
swer to this question. "Why can he not give up 
his own church and join yours? No Protestant be- 
lieves that his own denomination alone has the true 
doctrine; no Protestant is so attached to what he 
calls his creed; and if he does not care more for 
you than he does for his own religion, you are 
better without him." But can we pastors give this 
guarantee from our own experience? Now let us 
be accurate. Did any of us ever in all our lives 
know one man who, having to face the alternative, 
broke off an engagement with the woman of his 
choice because his Faith in the doctrines of his own 
denomination were too deep-rooted to be aban- 
doned? Other obstacles which arise, such as the 
opposition of parents, the hazarding of a business 
position, the loss of social prestige, though they 
cannot always be overcome without difficulty, or 
even heroism, can always be ignored without 
scruple. 

But, suppose we are sure beyond a shadow of 
doubt that every non-Catholic will eventually enter 
the Church if the Catholic party make this a condi- 
tion sine qua non of the engagement, there next 
arises the question. Are we always easy regarding 
the sincerity of his conversion? May we not fear 
for his motives ? 

I am quite prepared at this stage to hear advanced 
the one ever-recurring objection to this manner of 
dealing. It is expressed popularly in the phrase, 
"He became a Catholic just to get her"; or the 
young lady herself will declare, "I would not have 
him enter the Church just for my sake"; or a third 
will proffer the statement, "I knew others to be- 
come Catholics at the time of marriage and give it 
loo 



-^"a.l!-- 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

up afterward." Now, it might be well to remind 
our good Catholic peopl' occasionally that no one 
is adtnitted to the Chur.a unless a priest has first 
pronounced upon his dispositions, and assumed re- 
sponsibility for the very serious step to be taken. 
Evi y conversion is a conversion to a life of grace. 
A linission to the Church is admission to the Sacra- 
ments, and any trifling in such matters on the part 
of God's ministers would be a line of conduct too 
shocking to contemplate. 

It is quite true that we have known persons to 
enter the Church and at some later date cease to 
practice their religious duties. But if our experi- 
ence has been at all extended, we have also known 
some to embrace Catholicity with no other i.icen- 
tive than the purest love of the Truth, who are no 
longer known to the Fold. My own personal ex- 
perience is that the latter class supplies a larger 
portion of perversions than the former. More- 
over, we have seen Catholics from infancy, well 
instructed, known for their fervor at the time of 
First Communion and Confirmation, and even in 
early manhood, who long since have ceased to be 
known as faithful children of the Church. Of all 
three classes it may be said that grace was abused, 
or a protecting hand was wanting in the time of 
danger, or the foundations of Faith were not laid 
sufficiently deep to withstand the mighty blasts of 
after years. 

Our objector continues, "He certainly would 
never have become a Catholic if he had not wished 
to marry a Catholic girl." Very true; nor is it 
at all likely that we ourselves should possess the 
inestimable gift of Faith if our parents had not 
possessed it before us. But ' ; merciful dis- 

loi 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Pr?'.-'°!i^°^ ^"'^ *''*y ''*^* '*'' "» '° » knowledge 
of His Truth— to see the one True Light; now 
we would die for it at any time. And are our 
motives for believing to be distrusted because, when 
we were young and incapable of discerning, we 
learned our Catech am at the request of those vhom 
we loved? Is a man's conviction, then, to be im- 
pugned because he began the examination of Cath- 
olic doctrine at the urging of one f„ whom he had 
the highest regard? He does not embrace the 
haith because his fiancee obliges him to do so. At 
her rentiesi he agrees to examine the claims of the 
Church. He lays aside his prejudices; he is open 
to conviction, and, through the grace of God, the 
clear presentation of eternal truth enlightens his 
soul. His desire to make that girl his wife it 
that turned him to study Catholic teaching 1 
was his opportunity; it was God's way of call g 
him; and we might add without severity, woe ^ 
the young woman who would stand in the way of 
his responding to it. 

Theologically the question resolves into this : Is 
there more hope for the real conversion of a per- 
son WHO has some worldly motive to '<- Juce him to 
enter the Church than for one who is not actuated 
by any such motn e? Is he more likely to discover 
what IS in reality the true light who from lower 
motives IS extremely desirous of doing so, than he 
who has no wish to escape from what is in reality 
darkness and error? Granted an equal intelligence 
and the same course of instruction to two non- 
Catholics, both genuinely hon- st in their intention, 
?n^.rZ"v''T^ everything to gain by becom^ 
ing a Catholic, the other absolutely nothing, tan I 
believe that the former enjoys more favorable dis- 

102 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

fiositlons for enlightenment from on high than the 
atter? 

In ignorance of any authoritative decision on the 
•ubject, and with the fullest submission to any pro- 
nouncement that may be forthcoming, I venture to 
answer, "Yes," and for the following reasons. 

1. Our Divine Lord throughout the (Jospel com- 
mends a readiness to believe. To appreciate the 
significance of these words of our Lord the reader 
has only to recall Cardinal Newman's wonderful 
sermon entitled, "Dispositions for Faith." 

2. A man's efforts to discover the truth will be 
in keeping with his desire to possess it. As Car- 
dinal Newman says, when a man is leally anxious 
to know God's teaching, he will be "on the look- 
out" for information, arguments, proofs; and his 
very exertions, with this end in view, will lead him 
face to face with the truth. 

3. An ardent desire fo be admitted to the 
Church, no matter from what motive it "springs, 
will of itself be most effectual in dissipating the 
mists of prejudice. 

4- Faith is the work not only of the intrllect 
but also oi the will. "Revelanti Deo intellectus et 
voluntatis obsequium praestare tenemur." 1 "Si 
quis dixerit assensum fidei Christianae non esse 
liberum, sed argumentis humanae rationis neces- 
sario produci, anathema sit." = 

5. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the 
modern non-Catholic's objections to the Catholic 
Church were not arrived at by a process of reason- 
ing, nor will they be removed by a logical argumen- 
tation alone. 



>Vm. Cod. 
•Ibid, 



103 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

6. God's ordinary means of propagating Chris- 
tian truth and practice is through the Christian 
family, where certainly the study of religous doc 
trine is supported by our affection and esteem for 
our parents, and by the desire to believe and prac- 
tise what they have believed and practised. 

So much for the theological aspects of the case 
taken in general. Now, if the example be of a 
man who has asked to be instructed because the 
young lady positively refused to marry anyone not 
ui-Si ? ' '* "°^ '^'^ willingness to be guided 
blindly by a devout member of the Church, in it- 
self an act of submission to the Church's authority? 
Is not his decision to offer no opposition to the 
teaching of the Church, to do everything in his 
power to accept her teaching, and to obey her laws, 
a state of mind upon which heaven will look with 
tavori' At the same time, when the young lady 
^ ready to make such sacrifices for the cause of 
Ood, IS she not likely to be rewarded by the man 
of her choice receiving the light to understand and 
^accept God's will? 

Up to this point we have been discussing the 
case where a real conversion is to be effected, where 
a person has fixed religious convictions, and where 
our task is to convince him that these must be 
abandoned because there is only one religion which 
comes from God. Such a person in our day 's 
comparatively rare. But, if a prospective mar! 
riage can be a potent factor in the conversion of 
one who has distinct religious convictions, and who 

ChZh •?••"■''"'' "^5 ''^™^ °^ the' CathoVic 

Church, It is easy to understand its legitimate power 

104 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

when the non-Catholic is deterred, not by any posi- 
tive behefs which claim his adherence, but by one or 
more of a variety of causes which are associated 
°"ly 'ndirectly, if at all, with the study of religion. 
We really make a mistake in speaking of these 
latter as converts at all. Many know as little of 
the doctnnes of their own sect as they do of Cath- 
olic doctrine. They have no more difficulty in ac- 
cepting the Church's teachings than has the ne- 
glected Catholic who is prevailed upon to prepare 
for First Communion and Confirmation at the age 
of twenty. The only difficulty is in having them 
give their attention to it, and nothing secures this 
attention so effectually as its being a sine qua non 
of their prospective marriage. Others do not wish 
to hear 'conversion" proposed because of the time 
and trouble, perhaps delay, the instruction will en- 
tail. A dispensation would be so much more con- 
venient for all concerned. Others, not only have 
never given any thought to the subject of religion, 
but have never even allowed the practice of religious 
duties to interfere with the comfort of their lives 
Ihen there are those who do not wish to think of 
Catholicity because of unreasoned prejudices, or an 
unenlightened bigotry, or a loyalty to the Church 
ot their parents and ancestors. Now any one of 
those may one day become a sincere, fervent Cath- 
olic; but It IS quite clear that progress in that direc- 
tion will be lamentably slow if there be no stimulus 
put the cold, naked, logical exposition of her teach- 
ings. It IS the will that must be moved. There 
IS not one of those apparently insuperable obstacles 
which will not tumble down and disappear before 
the longing for the hand of one who can be won 
105 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

only on condition that such obstacles be removed 
forever. It is not a conversion at all, it is simply 
teaching Catechism; leading them for the first 
time in life to think seriously of God and anothep 
world; to understand something of sin and its 
punishment; having them commence to pray morn- 
ing and evening and pay some attention to the ob- 
servance of Sunday. There is no pardoning the 
Catholic young woman who, having it in her power 
to accomplish all this, neglects to do so, preferring 
rather to share her fate for life with a man who 
has as little regard for his eternal salvation as the 
pagan of darkest Africa. 

It has been the aim of previous paragraphs to 
show that the wish to marry a Catholic may, with 
the grace of God, be the most common and most 
effectual means of bringing those outside the Church 
to understand and accept her doctrine. /( is not, 
however, the greatest work which such marriages 
accomplish in attaching converts to the Faith. It is 
an easier task, from the point of view of human 
effort, to secure the submission of the non-Catholic, 
to instruct him, and admit him to the Church, than 
to keep him faithful to the practice of his religion 
until death. All the religious instruction which we 
ourselves received in youth has had much less to do 
with the faithfulness and fervor of our lives than 
have the solicitude and ^ardianship of our parents 
for years afterward. Similarly with the adult con- 
vert : no thoroughness of instruction previous to his 
reception contributes so much to his faithfulness 
through life as the example and influence of the de- 
vout Catholic wife or husband. For want of such 
protection many a convert who entered the Church 
1 06 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

after a long and thoughtful examination of her 
claims; — ^perhaps also at the cost of great sacrifices — 
later in life gradually fell away and sank into a 
hopeless indifference. We preach, in season and 
out of season, that the Faith cannot be preserved 
without the influence of the Christian family and 
home. We insist that no efficiency in our Catholic 
schools can ever take the place of the training in 
the home. What is so indispensably necessary to 
uovelop a religious spirit in the heart of a child 
cannot fail to be an all-important agency in develop- 
ing the Faith of the adult neophyte. Or, again, in 
our anxiety for some Catholic young man who is 
acquiring habits of recklessness, or is no longer 
amenable to good influence, we unanimously declare 
that everything will depend on the person whom he 
marries. We thereby bear testimony to the im- 
portant part which marriage will play in having him 
attend to his religious duties. Strange to say, no 
one ever seems to doubt the sincerity of his religious 
practices under such influences. If thtiefore mar- 
riage has been the sole redemption of one who en- 
joyed every early advantage, is its protection not 
still more necessary r a convert? One of our 
pastors goes so far as lO say, "I do not care to have 
anything to do with a convert if he is not already, 
or about to be, married to a Catholic." 



'I ■ 



III 



When It is generally understood that dispensa- 
tions will be rarely granted, is there not a danger 
that a Catholic intending to marry a non-Cafholic 
will agree to the ceremony being performed by a 
107 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Protestant minister or civil magistrate? On first 
sight we should be inclined to say, "Yes, most 
certainly." 

In tyery discussion on the advisability of strict 
regulations against mixed marriages this objection 
occurs to all. Fears of such consequences have 
counseled more than one bishop to proceed with 
caution, much as he would wish to attack the evil by 
ottering every opposition in his power. Text-books 
on theology seem to hint that in the face of such a 
possibility a generous mitigation of the law is jus- 
tihable. In this, however, as in everything else, the 
P'^cretion to be exercised in dealing with a given 
individual case may be something altogether dif- 
ferent from the attitude of mind required in deciding 
what line of conduct to adopt when dealing with a 
permanent condition of things. The strictest ad- 
ministrator will at times realize the advisability of 
making an exception. The question here is not 
what IS wisest under certain circumstances in a 
particular case, but how will the population of a 
diocese be affected by realizing that mixed marriages 
as a rule are not tolerated, and that dispensations 
tor such will rarely, if ever, be granted. 

No one doubts that a readiness to grant dis- 
pensations and the conseqi'ent increase in the number 
°* "J"fed marriages in a community tend to lessen 
the horror and odium in which such unions are ac- 
customed to be held. According as a people lose 
that horror for mixed marriages in general will 
they also lose their horror for mixed marriages 
performed outside the Church. Or to take a 
paralleled condition : we know that in some countries 
or provinces Catholics h.ive never been known to 
io8 



MIXED MARRIAGES 

eat meat on Friday under any circumstances; while 
in others they have been accustomed to obtain 
dispensations for various reasons according to the 
judgment of the pastor. Have we any doubt at 
all among which of those peoples we are more 
likely to meet with unwarranted violations of the 
law of abstinence, or at least a decided laxity in its 
observance ? 

This, however, is reasoning a priori. The ques- 
tion can be answered satisfactorily only by collecting 
statistics, by finding out in accurate figures from dif- 
ferent dioceses or cities what have been the respec- 
tive results of strict and lenient tendencies in the 
granting of dispensations for mixed marriages. 
Complete information in details of this nature is 
something which Catholic parishes and dioceses 
rarely possess. That we take our beliefs on the 
authority of an Infallible Guide may account for 
our dispositions and practices in these matters, but 
certainly inaccuracy of statistics is a very common 
feature in the methods of Church administration in 
use among us. Is it a fact that in those dioceses 
where dispensations have been granted readily, 
marriages outside the Church have been done away 
with, or even considerably reduced in number? 
Personally I have never known one such result, nor 
have I ever spoken to anyone who did. In dioceses 
where dispensations have been rarely granted has 
the number of marriages outside the Church in- 
creased? This discussion became so lively in our 
diocese th-it some of us made a practice of consult- 
ing the civil registers at the end of each year. What 
was our astonishment to find, time after time, that 
during the y s in which the bishop had practically 
109 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

closed the door on dispensations the number of 



IV 

<rJ,".^°" «""'""' ^""'^ ""= '° '''d that in suggesting 
nr.W "'l""" '? '°"x^"* *'«= non-Catholic on hf 
occasion of marnage I am well aware that I am im- 
posing endless tasks on the already over-burdened 
lives of our pastors and assistants. No doubt the 
failure to accomplish all that could have been de- 

tTll' ^1"' '^""'^ "^ -^'"^ °^ ''"'^ ='"d convenience 
alf^Kl^ necessary instruction. Would it not be 
advisable in every city to commit all the work of in- 
s ruction to one priest, who would be free to give 
all his attention to. this task? This plan, besfdes 
nsuring opportunities to deal with all, and besides 
the efnciency which leisure for one line of work will 
guarantee, would also secure the very great ad- 
vantage of economy of time and enerfy. One 
teacher would then be occupied regularly with a 
large class instead of a number of teachers being 
each employed with one or two pupils. 






IIO 



CHAPTER VI 

Instructing Converts 

THE term "convert," in the great majority of 
cases to which it is usually applied, is a mis- 
nomer. To give a non-Catholic a copy of the 
"Faith of Our Fathers" or "Catholic Belief," ex- 
pecting results therefrom is, unless in very excep- 
tional cases, not merely futile but a mistake. To 
suppose the ordinary man or woman of the world 
will seek admission to the Church and live the life of 
a faithful Catholic after listening to sermons for 
non-Catholics seven successive days is — barring the 
interposition of miracles of grace — to expect the im- 
possible. Few of us hope ever to see an example of it. 
In the strict and ordinary acceptation of the term 
a convert is one who, having fixed religious convic- 
tions and pursuing them in the earnest desire to save 
his soul, is brought to an examination of Catholic 
teaching, discovers the errors of his former posi- 
tion, and embraces the one true faith. This, 
however, describes not one in ten of the large num- 
bers who break off connection with Protestant 
denominations to become Catholics. These are not 
converts in the strict sense because they have had 
no convictions to give up, or even modify. Our task 
in being called upon to instruct them is not that of 
correcting erroneous beliefs, adding proofs to show 
them the fallacy of their convictions, but simply in- 
forming them what are the truths every Christian 
III 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

must believe and practice. Theirs is not the result 
of years of heterodox instruction, of accepting mis- 
representations of Christian teaching, but of little 
or no Christian instruction whatever; not of being 
misinformed, but of not being informed at all; not 
of error, but of ignorance. In dealing, therefore, 
with nine out of every ten the instruction is prac- 
tically the same as would be given to a class of chil- 
dren preparing for first Communion or confirmation. 
Or, let us take another case to all intents and 
purposes parallel. Through the neglect of parents. 
Catholic in name and profession, a boy grows up 
without relifrious ijistruction or practice. At the 
age of eighte i or twenty, influenced by the example 
of associates, or urged by some distant Catholic 
relative, or perhaps beginning to pay attention to 
some Catholic young lady, he calls on the pastor and 
asks to be prepared for confession and Communion. 
We all know exactly what to do; who would dream 
of having him commence by reading the "Faith of 
Our Fathers" or some other work of controversy? 
Yet in his attitude towards fundamental Christian 
teaching such a young man differs little or nothing 
from three-fourths of all who call themselves Prot- 
estants, except in his being free from blind prejudice 
against the claims of Catholicity. They are no 
more capable of sustaining an argument in opposi- 
ti^on to any particular article of the creed than he. 
The proportion of non-Catholics answering this de- 
scription is on the increase in a country where only 
twenty-two out of a total of seventy-four millions 
profess to be members of any religious denomina- 
tion, and in which nearly four million children re- 
ceive no religious instruction whatever. 

Those of us whose position imposes the task of 

112 



INSTRUCTING CONVERTS 

instructing several adult catechumens year after 
year are, I venture to say, quite apreed upon this 
view of the case. During our early experiences we 
were wont to prepare ourselves for the strenuous 
undertaking of presenting arguments in defense of 
the Real Presence, devotion to Our Lady, Pur- 
gatory, Indulgences, with a force that our "convert" 
would have difficulty in gainsaying, and we looked 
upon his ready and reticent acquiescence as a clever 
deceitfulness to keep us in the dark or a modest 
means of flattering our vanity. Great as was the 
confidence reposed in the strength o( our position, 
it was too soon to expect a complete dislodgment of 
his intelligent, long-formed convictions. It was only 
with repeated experiences that we began to realize 
that his acceptance of our explanations was perfectly 
genuine because there were actually no convictions 
to dislodge. It was the very first time he had ever 
given the question any serious thought at all, and in 
accepting found just as little difficulty as does the 
Catholic child who for the first time hears of pur- 
gatory from his parents or teacher. 

The priest unprepared for such surprises will not 
wait long to find that his class of non-Catholic adults 
have never grasped with anything like accuracy the 
doctrine of the Incarnation, in which all Christians 
profess to believe. Soon afterwards, he will be 
heard remu-^king that, though every one he is in- 
structing claims to have been baptized, rarely does 
he meet one with any conception of the purpose of 
Baptism. The ignorance of Catholic teaching which 
Protestants of one denomination or another evince, 
is really not so striking as the ordinary Protestant's 
ignorance of the tenets of his own particular 
denomination. 

"3 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Sunday-school trvf hn„i, j J . '''''^ '* tf'eir 
when Ltendilg' e Wee,''- it"' the'^rh"' ."^='""u^' 
used on occasions of family prayer T^hen""'' 'u ^' 

mmsMMM 

tha? wrrS"rth^?hr;rnkr/fiin^ °^ '°'i^- 

of the Bible wV-^u " , "'^ ''""^ noth ng 

«™nio„ i, „„,hi„g „„„ or 1„. th,.Tr„rJ '"■ 
w.r, g,„„ „ ,„pL.i„ ,h. .tanSj » pis." 



INSTRUCTING CONVERTS 

the iniquity, of such teaching and practice. If he 
be a victim of deep-.^?atcd prejudices, the most lucid 
and convincing refutation will probably prove in- 
effective. I am speaking, of course, of usual 
experiences; now and then we have to deal with a 
student intelligent, studious, advancing argume.-its 
that require a comprehensive grasp, supported by 
wide reading of works of history. For such we 
have to prepare. 

Success in the instruction of adults depends very 
much less on deep tlieological learning and capacity 
tor controversy than upon a self-denying faithful- 
ness to the task undertaken. Regularity and 
punctuality are strictly essential. If Wednesday 
evening eight o clock, be the hour arranged, make 
every effort to be free at that hour. Absence be- 
cause of an urgent sick-call, or some pressing engaee- 
ment unforeseen, our catechumen will readify excute 
When possible, notify him beforehand of the dis- 
appointment; when not possible, soon after, and 
then proceed to arrange another hour at the earliest 
convenience to all concerned. Never allow him to 
suppose for a moment that you are not keenly 
interested m his case; let him feel he is always wel- 
IT^^tj I- ' J°" ^""^ anxiously awaiting his call. 
Should his absence once or twice give reason to sus- 
pect indifference, or negligence, or some unwhole- 
some influence, take the trouble of enquiring either 
by telephone, or by a note, or by a personal call, 
t-auses there may be, both natural and supernatural, 
which make this little encouragement a matter of 
absolute ,. essity. It is probably attention to this 
detail, or lack of it, which accounts for the extraor- 
dinary phenomenon, so often observable, that while 
one pastor has always a class of converts to instruct 
IIS 



n -I 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

and is constantly admitting new members to the 
Church, his neighbor or successor similarly circum- 
stanced, is without any. God only knows how many 
there are among us living and dying out of the faith 
through our neglect of making the effort which this 
practice involves. 

In a city parish especially, the number may be- 
come so large as to suggest the difficulty of want of 
time. One evening a week is quite often enough to 
caU the class together. Oftener will not allow 
sufficient leisure, all things considered, for the 
preparation they are expected to make in the way 
of private study, reading, etc. They must have 
time to digest. Barring the case in which one or 
the other catechumen is obliged to be at work dur- 
ing the hour of class, there is no necessity for 
individual instruction. Each will make greater 
progress by attending a class, if for no other rea- 
son, than that the teacher can afford tc be more 
generous of himself on a whole evening set aside 
for this duty than during the hour he tries to spare 
for the accommodation of someone in particular. 
That all have not commenced together will be found 
to offer no appreciable disadvantage, provided the 
class proceeds continuously one chapter after an- 
other; he or she who arrives for the fifteenth or 
twentieth or thirtieth chapter will later on receive 
instruction in the first or second or third. Some 
there will be who, through timidity or reserve, will 
insist upon the privilege of private instruction. I 
take the liberty of advising the young priest to pay 
no attention to such requests. The timidity, though 
quite natural, very soon disappears. The most 
reluctant to join the class are usually the most en- 
thusiastic shortly afterwards. A large class becomes 
ii6 



INSTRUCTlA'G CONVERTS 

attractive. The presence of eight or ten others, 
coming from different denominations, all interested 
in the Catholic teaching, is a ri aj inspiration, and 
catechumens at all sincere invariably find a 
discussior. under such circumstances intensely in- 
teresting. So much is this the case that several 
ask to be allowed to continue attending after being 
admitted to the Sacraments, and when the course of 
instruction has been pronounced complete. 

An explanation of the dogmas of religion, how- 
ever long and thorough, a pamstaking drill in every 
point of doctrine which the Catechism takes note 
of, are far from being the only training necessary to 
the formation of a practical Christian. They alone 
who are Catholic in heart and will and practice and 
life as well as in understanding and knowledge, are 
Catholics worthy of the name. The catechumen, 
therefore, must be drilled in the practice of Catho- 
hc devotions no less than in the understanding of 
Catholic truth. There is nothing m connection 
with the instruction of a convert so important to 
remember as this. From the very commencement 
individual members of the class should be urged to 
assist at Mass (prayerbook in hand and seated near 
the sanctuary to observe the ceremonies as closely 
as possible), to attend Benediction, Vespers, the 
Stations of the Cross, and other public devotions 
so far as convenience will allow; to be faithful to 
morning and evening prayer, and, when no serious 
objection is offered, to the form prescribed in an 
ordinary prayerbook or catechism; to cultivate the 
practice of prayer before and after meals, etc., to 
abstain Fridays, and, if the season is at hand, to 
do something toward the observance of abstinence 
in Lent. Later on such devotions as the Rosary, 
117 



• ;fi ;,fl 



M' ;ii 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

the use of Holy Water, etc., may be explained and 
tneir adoption prudently suggested. 

The non-Catholic honestly seeking the truth 

dtir"' ^Tf gT"°"^ly to those%ractices of 
devotion, and who after a reasonable time still ex- 

Sn^! '• '^■'^^"'f'" '" 3««Pting the Church's 
teachings is a phenomenon to be met with very 
rarely indeed. The longer we are engaged in th's 
feature of parochial work, the more we shall be 
onvinced that the number debarred from entering 
the Church through difficulties in accepting her doc- 
trines is small compared with those who recoil from 
the observance of her laws. There are those who 
have been admitted to the Sacraments, persevered 
for a time and afterwards fallen away; the event 
is often referred to as an evidence of lack of con- 
viction from the beginning; nineteen times out of 
twenty the continued effort and the self-denial re- 
quired to live the life of an everyday practical 
Catholic is the explanation, and fifteen times out 
of twenty not fasting or going to confession was 
the stumbling-block, but the grave obligation of as- 
sisting at Mass fitty-two Sunday mornings every 

T^c"' r^- T"'' "•fP"'"''" 'hat the religion of 
Jesus Christ has emblazoned on its standard- "If 
any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, 
take up his cross and follow Me," and we are neve; 
assured of the fitness of an applicant until his con- 
duct gives reasonable evidence of a willingness to 
follow that standard. It is, therefore, ^usually 
wise to postpone the reception of a convert who has 
not been seen at Mass regularly for a year or the 
greater part of it, or who acknowledges a decided 
reluctance to spending a few minutes on his knees 
every morning and evening. If the non-Catholic 
ii8 



INSTRUC riNG CONVERTS 

in question had hitherto been deeply sincere in his 
religious convict! -<i,':, it he i; id been faithful in the 
observance of ev? /thin;' e-.joined by the denomi- 
nation to which he professed to belong, if Sunday 
had always been for him a day of church-going and 
devotion, and if his only objection to being a Cath- 
olic arose from difficulties in its doctrine, we might 
expect that, these difficulties once removed, his ear- 
nestness in the welfare of his soul would insure a 
ready correspondence with any practice which faith 
in the Church inspires. But this is the exceptional 
case. To give the ordinary "convert" a series of 
instructions in catechism, to insist on his knowing 
certain forms of prayer by rote to prepare him for 
confession and admit him to the Sacraments with- 
out any attention to his devotional practices, is a 
process which, with God's grace, may sometimes 
produce good results, but generally speaking, un- 
less he be about to marry one capable of guarantee- 
ing his faithfulness, it should not surprise us to find 
him shortly afterwards very much as he was before. 
We, whose inestimable privilege it has been to be- 
long to the fold from infancy, can hardly forget 
that something more than a Catechism class was 
in force to make us practical Catholics; we can 
hardly forget that unceasing watchfulness over our 
daily prayers and attendance at Mass, those never- 
failing suggestions and reminders and corrections 
to which, after God, we owe in great measure 
whatever faith or fervor or practice it is our bless- 
ing to possess. 

It is also advisable that the convert's practice 
of Catholicity be confined almost entirely to tiie 
exercises which constitute the routine of a Cath- 
olic's life. A round of missions, forty hours, sol- 
119 



R :i;^ 



'H 



i-:; 


i li 


!4: 


1 ^ 


m 


i! 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

emn Masses, attractive church music and sermons 
at that stage may, to a certain extent, carry him 
away, but only to leave disappointment and dis- 
satisfaction with the more or less prosaic occur- 
rence at which he will be expected to assist regularly 
later on. The academy girl who is converted and 
continues as a devout Catholic within the convent 
walls, and who soon after falls away, is common 
enough to excite considerable comment. Have we 
not here the explanation? Amid the imposing 
grandeur of a chapel, the richness and decoration 
of its sanctuary, the charm of music and the im- 
pressiveness of religious events, it is easy to be 
sincerely pious and dfevout; the practice of religion 
bereft of all these extraordinary stimulants, which 
will probably be her lot on returning to the world, 
demands a faith and determination and exertion 
for which she is not prepared. 

All these contentions anticipate to a certain de- 
gree the theological tenet that conversion to the 
faith concerns the will as well as the intellect. In 
dealing with a catechumen of the most common 
type, securing the consent of the will would seem 
to be the one great desideratum. An intellectual 
assent is rarely possible with him who, through 
interest or prejudice, is determined not to enter the 
Church. On the other hand, a desire to become a 
Catholic from some interested motive, provided 
that desire implies an honest intention to yield to 
the Church's claims on their own merit, is a dis- 
position which God will bless with light to know 
His law and willingness to embrace it. If of our 
efforts God's judgments should reward only those 
proceeding from the purest motives, with absolutely 

120 



INSTRUCTING CONVERTS 

no alloy of worldly self-interest, how small would 
be our our store for eternity! When the will of 
our pupil, therefore, interposes no obstacles, our 
task of instructing is easy. A very large percent- 
age of present-day "converts" — some say ninety or 
ninety-five — are admitted to the Church on the oc- 
casion of marriage; it will probably always be so, 
in other countries no less than in this, and the ex- 
planation is as above. Through the Catholic 
party's refusing to marry one not of the faith, the 
non-Catholic is disposed to place no obstacle to 
the acceptance of the truth. The part played by 
the Catholic party taking this stand, therefore, is the 
all-important one of securing the cooperation of 
the will. 

Behind all this is the doctrine enunciated by Dr. 
Orestes A. Brownson as follows : "To believe is 
normal, to d'^'u iieve is abnormal. When the mind 
is in its nor',;' .ite, nothing more is ever needed 
for belief thi. . removal of the obstacles inter- 
posed to believing; for if we consider it, the mind 
was created for truth. Truth is its object, and it 
seeks and accepts it instinctively, as the new-born 
child seeks the mother's breast, from which it 
draws its nourishment. Place the mind and truth 
face to face, with nothing interposed between them, 
and the truth evidences itself to the mind, and the 
mind accepts it, without seeking or needing any fur- 
ther reason. The assent termed knowledge fol- 
lows immediately from the joint forces of the intel- 
ligible object and the intelligent subject. So in 
belief. Practically, it is never a reason for believ- 
ing, but the removal of reasons against believing, 
that is demanded. Hence, we always believe what 

121 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLFMS 

a man tells us, when we have no reason for not 
believing him; and the business of life could not 
go on were it otherwise. For belief reason never 
requires anything but the mutual presence, with 
nothing interposed between them, of the credible 
object and the crediting subject. Truth needs no 
voucher, and when immediately presented to the 
mind, affirms itself. The will may be perverse, 
and withdraw the intellect from the contemplation 
of truth; prejudice or passion may darken the un- 
derstanding, so that it does not for the moment 
see or recognize the object; but, whenever the truth 
is immediately present, and reason looks it full in 
the face, it knows that it is truth without further 
evidence, without anything intrinsic to prove that 
It IS truth." 

Will our convert persevere? Who is going to 
answer when so many sons and daughters of Cath- 
olic parents grow careless and renounce the faith? 
Many, and these intelligent men and women, have 
embraced the faith from deep-rooted conviction, 
from motives strictly sincere, perhaps at the cost 
of great sacrifices, and afterwards denied that same 
faith. But having given every care to prepare a 
person for admission to the Church, is there any- 
thing more we must do to insure his continuance 
therein? Very often little or nothing. Often it 
would seem as if our mission ended there. This, 
nevertheless, appears certain : — much .-nore depends 
upon the influences which surround the "convert" 
after, than upon the thoroughness of his training 
before, his conversion. If, through marriage or 
otherwise, he is, in God's Providence, brought un- 
der the influence of a wholesome, fervent, exem- 
plary Catholic practice, we have little to fear; if 

122 



INSTRUCTING CONVERTS 

not, who shall answer for him? One duty as- 
suredly is ours: — should occasion call for it, no 
effort must be spared to dissuade him from contem- 
plating marriage with one not of the faith. 



123 



fl 



CHAPTER VII 
The Country Pastor's Weekday 



TT seems a common assumption that the priest en- 
gaged m parish work is often without emplov- 
ment. The country pastors, or assistant especially, 
IS supposed to deserve our sympathy. He also re- 
ceives generous advice in his struggles against the 
dreaded ennui necessarily attending a life with so 
tew activities to engage his attention. Is all this 
in accord with actual fact? And if so, does it not 
seem somewhat at variance with our preconceived 
notions of the sacerdotal ministry? A priest's life 
we feel, should be one of untiring zeal; and great 
zeal supposes, above everything else, energy, toil 
weariness, with a multiplication of duties so con- 
tinued as to allow neither time nor strength for 
tneir accomplishment. 

We are hearing constantly of the appalling scar- 
city of priests. We are asked to believe that im- 
mense harvests of immortal souls are lost eternally 
because of this scarcity. It is urged that every 
conceivable sacrifice be made to increase their num- 
Oer; and in the same breath we are told that the 
most distressing experiences of those actually en- 
gaged in the ministry are due to the long hours thev 
spend with nothing to do, week after week, year 
atter year. Is there not some note of incongruity 
124 






RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

m these several references to prevailing conditions? 
Is it that the shepherd's life is one of p.itient wait- 
ing rather than of absorbing toil? Is it that he 
who is placed in the watchtower of Israel must 
understand that the duties of vigilance obliging him 
never to desert his post require little activity in 
the exercise thereof? 

The professional man and the man of business 
equally with the laborer are called to continuous 
duty day after day. A definite plan of occupation 
holds them there from morning till night. Is it 
really so with the workday of a priest? Does he 
rise from breakfast with a vision of eight or ten 
hours of engagements awaiting him before his day 
is completed? Of Saturday afternoon and Sunday 
this IS possibly true. What of the remaining five 
days? Fifteen or twenty minutes over the morn- 
ing paper, if it arrive early; occasionally some sick 
parishioner expecting a call; perhaps once a week 
an hour in the school, if there be one; a letter to 
write now and then — what else? 

.The Cdse is not unknown of a young assistant 
being shown his room and informed of the hours 
at which meals are served in the rectory. As time 
goes on he understands that his services will be re- 
quired on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, on the 
day when the children make their monthly confes- 
sion, and occasionally when a distant sick-call is 
to be attended. For the rest, it becomes evident 
that the fewer acquaintances he makes among 
members of the congregation, the more satisfactory 
his conduct is in the eyes of superiors. Such in- 
stances are tremendously sad, whether we consider 
the interests of the young man himself, the congre- 
gation, or, above all, the one who so regulates his 
125 



'vf 1,1 









SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

hours of employment. Is this the kind of life in 
preparation for which he had given years of the 
closest application? Are there really no other 
duties awaiting him? 

All depends upon the size and character of the 
parish, is the answer we naturally expect to hear. 
In some parishes, occupations of every kind press 
upon pastor and assistant at every hour; in others, 
few or none. Is that a full explanation of the 
case? 

Some priests are among the busiest of men: their 
days are always full. Is this due to the size and 
peculiar character of the parish, or to themselves? 
To have the repute of being faithful in the dis- 
charge of every duty which comes to us, and noth- 
ir.g more, is after all a very questionable recom- 
mendation. It almost reminds us of the advice an 
American humorist gives to young men: "Don't 
wait for things to turn up; turn tnem up yourself. 
You might as well sit down on a stone in the mid- 
dle of a meadow and wait for a cow to back up 
to be milked." To have scrupulously and promptly 
attended every sick-call, no matter how trying the 
circumstances; to be willing to hear every confes- 
sion that comes, no matter at what hour; to have 
always prepared the Sunday sermon carefully — 
these things describe a conscientious workman, but 
they are not all that are necessary in him who must 
lead and rule and guide, who feels a responsibility 
before God for every soul committed to his charge. 
It is one thing to do every task assigned us ; another 
to see and do everything that should be done. 

Generally speaking, tne man who is always busy 
is the man who can see things to do. If there are 
pastors or assistants to whom the great problem 
126 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

during a large portion of every week is the problem 
of getting in their time, who will say how much of 
this embarrassment is due to their not seeing the 
work which lies before them undone? The most 
active pastoi of my acquaintance says that for sev- 
eral years in the ministry his flock numbered less 
than sixty families, and even then he was always 
busy. It is commonly admitted that the English 
diocese have at once the smallest Catholic congre- 
gations and the hardest-working priests in Europe. 
Of a certain farmer, whose success is of nation- 
wide repute, it has been said, "Ordinarily such a 
farm as his requires three or four men; give him 
fifteen men, and he will find profitable work for 
them all." This probably exemplifies what makes 
for efficiency in any industrial undertaking, and 
most probably describes a capacity more or less 
requisite in the administration of a parish. A 
pastor in a neighboring city, whose census enrolls 
2,300 souls, importunes the bishop to keep him 
constantly provided with a staff of five assistants, 
and certainly, if each one covers as much ground 
month by month as does the pastor himself, there 
are no hours for ennui in or about that rectory. 
No greater blessing can overtake a young priest 
than the privilege of associating with a pastor who 
allows no form of parish duty to be neglected, who 
is ever discovering new objects of zeal within the 
limits of his parish, and who has a capacity for 
dealing with them. 



Broad fields of inquiry are suggested here. It 
is evident that all ordained for the Altar are not 
127 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



i i 



11 



equally gifted in this respect. Arc there not many 
who, under proper guidance and tuition, would ac- 
quire this capacity in a very high degree, and who, 
left to their own unaided resources, spend long 
years in the ministry with little thought of any- 
thing beyond the commonest r< utine? Are there 
any of the newly ordained so unpromising as not 
to improve very materially under such tuition? 
Are there any among the most gifted who might 
not have done mucli better? 

Then there is the other question — with how much 
of this training has the average candidate for the 
ministry been equippe^l in the past? Has he en- 
tered upon t'T", exercise of hit calling with anything 
like a conjli^j description of the various dutl-s 
awaiting him, and with a thorougii understanding of 
how his days and hours may be tilled with priestly 
occupations? I recall here the frequent remark of 
an old and worthy pastor in words such as follow; 
"It has always been a matter of wonder to me that 
some definite plan of work has not been prescribed 
for us by ecclesiastical authorities. When Monday 
morning comes, what is laid out for us? Absolutely 
nothing. We are free. The active man may plunge 
into a thousand things; the less active man may 
attempt none. To be told there are many things 
we could and should do within that period, and 
to have those duties imposed upo,i us at a given 
day or hour, in aLCordance with a regular schedule, 
would inspire a sense of obligation altogether dif- 
ferent." Such a regular succession of duties most 
likely has not been prescribed at any time or place 
by Church authority, the intention evidently being 
to leave all this to the personal responsibility of 
the priest. Autonomy in parochial administration 
128 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

would seem to be a cardinal principle. But as 
a matter of guidance, of direction, of suggestion, 
we might reasonably expect to hear of such sched- 
ules heinp; framed in ecclesiastical seminaries and 
by writers of pastoral theology. Or, is it con- 
tended that this line of instruction is beyond the 
scope of a seminary's undertaking? Cardinal 
Newman says that St. Philip Neri in his formation 
period came successively under the influence of 
Benedictines, Dominicans, and Jesuits; and he adds: 
"From the first he learned what to be, from the 
second what to do, and from the third how to do 
it." Seminaries of the past seem to have held 
that their functions were confined to the first, 
largely to the exclusion of the second and third. 
If the study of theology and the exercises of sacer- 
dotal formation fill up the limited time at the dis- 
posal of the seminary, there is still some further 
provision needed to guarantee success in the 
ministry. 



Ill 

But let us not get away from the rural pastor, 
whose many idle hours we have tjken for granted. 
His congregation is made up of country residents, 
or it is partly country and partly village or town. 
He is a young man entering upon his first charge, 
and will not object to having the subject opened 
for discussion. We may take the liberty at the 
outset of warning him against the fundamental mis- 
take of attempting a variety of organizations sim- 
ilar to what he has seen in operation in city par- 
ishes. Sooner or later he will discover that most 
of them are unnecessary, if not positively hurtful 
129 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

in his new surroundings, and that his activities here- 
after must be alon^ lines altogether different. 

His forenoons will be easily provided for. An 
average of one, weekly, will be taken up with Mass 
and confessions in the mission church, a station, or 
funeral, or a requiem. Two or more will be re- 
quired to prepare the weekly sermons, and one to 
visit the school if there is one. Bringing the sacra- 
ments to the aged and invalided — a portion of his 
flock that should have every encouragement to re- 
ceive the sacraments frequently; reserving an hour 
occasionally for looking up a casus conscientiae, for 
book-keeping, correspondence, and minor details of 
a business nature, with the time taken up answering 
office calls, will leave little or no leisure in the 
hours before midday. 

Allowing one afternoon for rest, recreation, or 
visiting a neighboring pastor, the problem is re- 
duced to finding employment for the remaining 
four. While in the course of the year a variety 
of duties present themselves as different circum- 
stances arise, there are some requiring regular at- 
tention almost every week. Chief of these are the 
catechizing of children, instruction of the adult 
population, instruction and reception of converts, 
regular visitation of families and individuals. 



IV 

It can hardly be controverted that so long as 
there is one member of the flock without the knowl- 
edge of religion which every good Catholic should 
possess, the pastor's work is not done; nor has he 
to look elsewhere for pastime. It is commonly 
assumed that Catholics in country districts, whether 
130 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

children or adults, suffer through want of instruc 
tion. Instinctively aImos^ we are disposed to ex- 
cuse their shortcomings because of their lack of op- 
portunities. Now let us remember what this 
means. In the very parishes in which a priest's 
life IS nigh unto unbearable through want of oc- 
cupation, we are to expect a laity in ignorance of 
the necessary truths of religion I They are sup- 
posed to have failed to learn them because there 
was no Catholic school, as if it were to Sisters of 
religious communities and to young girls with a 
teacher s certificate that the Divine commission was 
given to ^o forth and teach. In European coun- 
tries considered Catholic, we hear of gre.it major- 
ities of the people grown indifferent, paying no at- 
tention to the Church's laws, manifesting no anxiety 
tor the eternal welfare of themselves or their chil- 
dren. The explanation is always the same: a 
masonic government fifty years ago, or at some 
past date, abolished Catholic schools. In none of 
those centres has the Church been closed, or the 
priest forbidden the exercise of his ministry. 
Oiven a compact body of peasantry, whether re- 
siding on their respective farms or grouped in vil- 
lages, as obtains in those countries, and a priest 
free to move among them seven days in the week 
spending terms of ten, twenty, or thirty years in 
one parish, and it does seem very extraordinary, 
to say the least, that people so situated are not 
taught the truths of religion and taught them well. 
Although in most places the common practice 
IS to attempt something in the way of a Catechism 
class on Sunday, it may reasonably be questioned 
if It were not better, all things considered, to re- 
gard the catechizing of children as altogether a 
131 



i n 



Hi 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

weekday duty. No matter what the conditions, the 
pastor has little opportunity or leisure to meet all 
the children on Sunday; and substitutes are of very 
doubtful assistance. Moreover, assembling chil- 
dren on Sunday afternoon deprives parents of the 
most favorable opportunity of doing their part, 
with the unfortunate result of making them feel 
that others had assumed the responsibility. The 
absence of a parish school can be justified only on 
the ground that the number of Catholic families in 
any particular section is not sufficient to make it 
possible. There may be small groups of children 
to instruct in three or four more localities, and the 
pastor will then have to arrange dates for each; 
meeting them in the public school after hours, if 
he is permitted the use of it — otherwise, in the 
home of one of his people. It goes without say- 
ing that as a first requisite for success these dates 
should be of regular occurrence, definite tasks being 
assigned as a preparation for each occasion. 
Should it happen that in some large sections of the 
parish territory there is but a single child of school 
age, the same obligation remains of making due 
provision for it. A very great tax upon the time 
and convenience of the pastor, it is true, a real bur- 
den, but nevertheless a burden there is no escaping. 
When a non-Catholic tells us he is thinking of em- 
bracing the faith, we give him our individual at- 
tention, setting aside hour after hour for him. Is 
there any reason why we should not do as much 
for one baptized in the Church? One soul is a 
diocese. A pastor for instance who presents for 
Confirmation a large class of children admirably 
instructed, and has given no heed to the individual 
child, here and there, who through distance, incon- 
132 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

venience, or indifference on the part of the parents, 
was not with the others at the hours of instruction, 
has forgotten the injunction "to leave the ninety- 
nine in the desert, and go after that which was 
lost until he find it." 

St. Paul went so far as to say that he was sent 
not to baptize but to preach, and even thanked God 
that he had not baptized "any among you " We 
have all been ordained to the three-fold mission 
docendi, regendi, benediccndi, the latter including 
administration of the sacraments and sacramentals 
Is there not often discoverable a tendency to prac- 
tically centre all effort on this last one? Is it not 
possible that relatively it may absorb too much of 
our attention, with the result that the other two 
Junctions, and especially that of docendi, are to a 
great extent neglected ? If our mission is, first of 
all, to make God known, a real passion for instruct- 
ing the young, and a rare capacity for doing so, 
would seem an essential characteristic of the 
priestly vocation. Unfortunately there are many 
in the sacred ministry who give it little or no at- 
tention at all, and who show no inclination for the 
task. Perhaps I should have said they give it no 

S'°"^J"?"'\*''''' '^^^'^ "° inclination, and I 
might add they have no inclination because they 
are without the capacity to do it successfully Al- 
most without exception, it is often remarked, the 
school teacher who becomes a priest is most de- 
voted to the work of catechizing. "As a matter 

rnferen'r.'? Vu\ "'"'' '"T'"'^"- ^^' ^^at is the 
inference? That a very large proportion of pas- 
tors and assistants would be equally devoted with 
equal training in the art of doing it. In thiT as 
m everything else, all or nearly%ll have to be 
133 



mi 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

shown how. Just as few can qualify for a book- 
keeper's position without having attended a business 
college, and just as few dare to allow their names 
on a program for a "reading" who have not had 
an elocution teacher, so it is too much to expect 
that the average person will conduct a catechism 
class successfully without some understanding of the 
scope of the work and of the methods to be adopted. 
All seminaries recognize the necessity of such a train- 
ing in order to make a morning meditation or pre- 
pare a sermon ; few seem to admit its usefulness to 
the catechist. 



A priest's work is not finished so long as there 
are adults without sufficient instruction. There is 
no parish in the country or city without many. 
Whenever children are catechized in presence of 
the Sunday congregation, older members are heard 
to remark that their class need this as much as the 
children. For some the opportunities for religious 
instruction in childhood had been limited to a few 
weeks' drill preparatory to Confirmation; for 
others not even so much. If they and we are un- 
der no obligation to supplement this, if the Faith 
can be fervent and vigorous and practical on so 
frail a foundation, why compel our parish school 
children to give half an hour daily to religious 
study during a period of eight, ten, or twelve 
years? 

The Encyclical of Pius X requires, in addition to 
the Gospel homily on Sunday morning, and in ad- 
dition to the children's hour of catechism, a cate- 
chetical instruction for adults once a week, regu- 
134 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

larly announced and carried out. The country pas- 
tor who will undertake to bring this instruction 
within easy reach of all his people has before him 
a work of zeal not less arduous than commendable. 
lo consider their convenience, at least to the ex- 
tent of making his efforts effective, he may find 
It necessary to assemble them in different groups 
according to their place of residence. If he have 
two or more churches to attend, there seems no 
possibility of catering to all, short of a regular 
hour for this instruction in each church. In many 
parishes there are groups of families too far re- 
moved from any church to avail themselves fre- 
quently of such opportunities. They are likely also 
to be the souls most in need of this special atten- 
tion. Little can be done for them if the pastor 
cannot make it convenient to assemble them for an 
hour of catechetical instruction in one of their 
homes. It is quite clear that under circumstances 
such as I am describing there can be no question of 
providing weekly instruction for all. The best pos- 
sible IS to give each congregation, or section of a 
congregation its turn. We are trying to provide 
occupation for the pastor on whom idle hours 
hang heavy, and it is only fair to suggest that the 
turns of each congregation, or section of a congre- 
gation, be multiplied in proportion to the amount 
of time he is trying to fill in. 



VI 



The instruction of converts takes up a consider- 
able portion of afternoons or evenings, and there 
are no parishes that lack converts to instruct It 
was a quite frequent remark of the Venerable 
135 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



i 



rr. 



Father Magnien that if the Apostles had devoted 
themselves only to the sanctification of those al- 
ready within the fold, they would never have gone 
beyond Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The pas- 
tor of souls who has never helped others into the 
fold, who has never brought the light of Faith 
to those who were without it, has not completed 
his mission, no matter how long and faithful his 
service in administering the Sacraments and preach- 
ing the word of God. 

In recent years we have been attending to the side 
of the work which gives little promise, and neglect- 
ing what would surely bring immense results. By 
means of missions, controversial literature, etc., we 
have endeavored to enlighten non-Catholics, to get 
them thinking, to convince a certain number. This 
was good. Meanwhile we neglected many who had 
no difficulties to remove, who were actually knock- 
ing at the door of the Church, and who with the 
necessary individual attention would joyfully have 
been admitted into her bosom. There are such peo- 
ple everywhere; they are within the reach of every 
pastor or assistant. They have heard God's voice 
calling them, and are only waiting for his minister 
to bring them home. Indisputable evidence is 
found in the fact that some priests are never without 
a class of catechumens, no matter how varied the 
conditions surrounding their appointment. This 
work is always going on. At the beginning of each 
year one is just as sure that a certain number of non- 
Catholics will come for instruction, as one is sure 
that a certain number of Catholics will come to con- 
fession within a given period. And the singular 
feature is there was apparently none to instruct in 
any of those parishes before his time, nor did the 
136 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

numbers continue long, after his removal therefrom. 
The real secret is, he attended scrupulously to every- 
one willing to be instructed, sparing neither time 
nor trouble; and most likely, when he had reason to 
hope that someone within his territory was wishing 
to consider the claims of Faith, he took the initia- 
tive, and proposed a course of instruction. In 
short, he had been faithful in a few things and was 
placed over many. To what extent would converts 
annually increase the Catholic population of North 
America, did every non-Catholic so disposed receive 
similar attention? Certainly by several tens of 
thousands. The rural pastor prepared to make the 
experiment will find many hours of interesting em- 
ployment awaiting him. True, he will often be tied 
down when he would long to be free; nevertheless 
he also is contemplated in the commission : "Other 
sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also I 
must bring, and they shall hear my voice." 

Practically all that has been said of converts ap- 
plies to another class who furnish the pastor contin- 
ual interest and employment — adults who have 
never received the sacraments. If the type does 
not abound in numbers so large, it is none the less 
ubiquitous. Whether it be the neglected boy or girl 
of sixteen or seventeen, or the man in his sixties who 
faintly recalls a prayer repeated at his mother's 
knee, and much of the seamy side of life ever after, 
the regularity with which such persons report for 
instruction, and the simplicity and docility with 
which they accept every explanation of doctrine, af- 
ford repeated gratification. These statements are 
based on an experience furnished by intimate ac- 
quaintance with congregations in half a dozen city 
parishes, and an equal number of towns and country 
137 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

districts. If some of those unfortunate delinquents 
did not become all we expected, the fault was ours. 
Every pastor and assistant with time at his disposal 
will find much to do in this sphere. 






ill 



VII 

Lastly there is the duty of regularly visiting par- 
ishioners in their homes. The statutes of at least 
one American diocese strictly require a quarterly 
visit to every family. A most thoroughly zealous 
pastor of my acquaintance assigns districts to his 
several assistants, and insists upon every family be- 
ing visited monthly. There are parishes in English 
cities in which a weekly visit is made, at least to 
those families whose compliance with religious obli- 
gations is not perfectly regular. 

No other form of activity so surely stamps a pas- 
tor as a man of real, unflagging zeal, whether in the 
opmion of the people he moves among, or of his co- 
workers in the ministry, or of his ecclesiastical su- 
periors. Perhaps at no time in the history of Cath- 
olicihr has this line of effort been so generally recom- 
mended as in our day. For some reason or other, 
however, it is a practice which does not appeal to 
the majority of priests. The courage necessary to 
answer call after call to the isolation hospital, or to 
districts where pestilence is raging, is never want- 
ing; the energy and determination required to go 
from house to house, over and over again, seem 
often to fail. It is difficult to spend so much time 
and effort upon occupations from which few results 
are immediately and distinctly evident. "When a 
family is exemplary," one reasons, "what is accom- 
138 



IM 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

plished by calling at their homes?" I am not at all 
sure of having the right answer to the question. 

Holy Writ demands as a primary qualification of 
the good pastor that he know those that are his. 
The intimacy of the acquaintanceship desired is de- 
scribed by the parallel, "As the Father knoweth me 
and I know the Father." Something much more 
than a personal recognition is here suggested. He 
who would look after them and answer for their 
souls must understand their character, their habits, 
and the influences which enter into their lives, either 
to sanctify or to lead astray. At least as much is 
expected of him whose duty is to guide, whose advice 
IS sought in matters of the greatest moment, whose 
word is so often law. "The sheep hear his voice: 
and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth 
them out." 

•.11?°'' i' *'''* ^''- There is the further requirement. 
Mine know me." The youngest as well as the old- 
est feel at ease in the presence of the true pastor. 
All .jiow him; all trust him. He has their con- 
fidences; there is no embarrassment, no reserve. 
To him they unburden their cares, they speak of 
their joys and hopes. But all this cannot be if they 
see him but rarely, if his visits are few, if he is a 
stranger, if because of this unfamiliarity his appear- 
ance intimidates rather than encourages. "He 
goeth before them, and the sheep follow him because 
they know his voice. But a stranger they follow 
not, but fly from him." Of all the tributes paid 
by a congregation to the memory of their departed 
pastor none gives so true a picture of earnest de- 
votedness as that contained in the words, "Every 
home looked upon him as one of the family," or 
139 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



ii! 



in those other words, so expressive in their simplic- 
ity, "He would drop into the house at any time and 
we never minded it in the least." 

We must not forget that it is by personal in- 
fluence, not by logical argument or great learning, 
that the simple truths of the Gospel are propagated. 
A priest's power for good depends largely upon the 
esteem and love with which his people regard him. 
Not every priest can make himself a great preacher 
or a scholar; but no priest who associates freely 
with his people, dividing his time among all, is ever 
without their appreciation, or fails to gain their con- 
fidence. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know 
them, and they follow me." That priest alone is 
without influence among his people who does not 
choose to inspire it. 

Just here I should like to bring a commonly ac- 
cepted opinion into controversy. We often hear a 
priest's success accounted for in such remarks as this: 
He knows how to take them" — "He has a way of 
getting along with them" — "He has rare tact" — 
"He is a real diplomat." Valuable as the man of the 
world may find such gifts, it is doubtful if they count 
for much in him who appears before the people as 
God's minister. His continued presence among 
them, his willingness to give them every attention 
consistent with his position, secures an ascendancy 
over their minds and hearts which no studied effort 
or cleverness of method can replace. Provided 
his words and conduct always evince the true priestly 
spirit with the ordinary traits of a gentleman, his 
parishioners are willingly blind to, or gladly for- 
getful of, other deficiences. There is practically 
no limit to the support a people will give the pastor 
who, through solicitude for their best interests, 
140 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

regularly visits them in their homes. I have never 
known such a pastor to be without an influence al- 
most incredible, even in spite of many short- 
comings. I have known many of intelligence and 
dignity and skill in the ways of the world who failed 
because of their aloofness. 

This is only one reason out of many for visiting 
the members of the congregation. New sources of 
occupation are soon revealed. There are errors to 
correct, abuses to remedy, evils to forestall, mis- 
understandings to remove. There are the negli- 
gent to reform, the indifferent to arouse, the needy 
to assist, the discouraged and care-worn to cheer. 
There are good works to be promoted, good inten- 
tions to be approved, new practices to suggest and 
then to be furthered. The more faithfully the 
pastor attends to the multiplicity of duties, the 
more numerous and varied they become. Resources 
will not be wanting to him who goes about doing 
good. 

Comparisons are sometimes made. How is it 
that one congregation in the midst of several gives 
numerous marks of fervor? How is it that its 
members assist at daily Mass and approach the 
sacraments so frequently, that they are faithful to 
every religious duty, and lead such exemplary lives ? 
They themselves have no explanation to offer, but 
unquestionably and unconsciously they were follow- 
ing the lead of one who had lived and moved 
among them for years, and who, they always felt, 
was one of themselves. All those devout practices 
were suggested and repeatedly urged by one who 
was near and dear as a father, and no one could 
think of refusing what he knew was the pastor's 
wish. It is God's plan — and the very thought of 
141 



vf 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

it mi"t terrify us — that the distribution of Hii 
gra'.-» depends largely upon the will and the activity 
of His minister; that His children identify service 
of their Master with the wishes of him who is here 
to represent Him; and that their personal regard 
for that representative be always a force to remind 
them of Him and of their own eternal interests. 
_ Some months ago contributors to the Review 
discussed the use a priest could make of his spare 
time. One is tempted to ask the question : "Has 
a priest any spare time?" 



142 



CHAPTER VIII 

The Country Pastor's Weekday 

^O the paper on this subject in the last issue I 
x_ should like to add three important considera- 
tions. ^ In a rural district no small amount of a 
pastor s time may be taken through accommodating 
the hour of daily Mass to the greater advantage o? 
his parishioners, zealous attention to the aged and 
permanently invalided, and affording the greatest 
possibilities for frequent confession. 

A pastor's weekday Mass is primarily for his 
people, and not, as it would almost seem, a matter 
of private devotion. All should be encouraged to 
have part and take part in it, at least to some ex- 
tent. In city churches its commencing punctually at 
the same hour daily may be the most effective means 
of promoting this devotion; in certain country con- 
gregations something almost the reverse of this may 
be necessary. To have made attendance possible 
for families in the adjoining village or for town 
people of leisure, in utter forgetfulness of all at 
some distance from the church, is accomplishing only 
the minimum. To say Mass every day in the parish 
church, and on Sunday only in a mission chapel which 
accommodates an outlying congregation, is to recog- 
nize but a very limited obligation toward that por- 
tion of the flock. To expect the children of the 
parisn school or of the immediate neighborhood 
143 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



.1 



to assist at Mass daily, and to have this primarily 
in view in fixing the hour, is perhaps the greatest 
mistake of all. Few children will assist at Mats 
every morning with anything like becoming devo- 
tion. Of the adults whom we (.. d frequently at 
weekday Mass, not one in a hundred, perhaps not 
one in a thousand, wr.s iirought to the practice by 
being obliged to appea:- there every morning dur- 
ing his school years. 

The problem, then, of securing attendance at 
weekday Mass becomes largely one of distribution. 
Few VI, 11 fail to respond, at least occasionally, when 
arrangements are madd for their particular conven- 
i' ice and benefit; many will not make an effort once 
n the year on an indefinite appeal which to their 
hearing suggests little more than a sentiment of de- 
votion and respect toward the Sacrifice of the Altar. 
It may be remarked in passing that, while we speak 
with enthusiastic admiration of the beautiful variety 
of the liturgical year, we proceed to present the 
weeks and days of that year in a wearisome and 
uninteresting monotony, concealing its teaching and 
attractiveness from the faithful, whose edification is 
the very purpose of its existence and preservation. 
It is well, therefore, to make something of the feasts 
that are not of obligation, announcing Mass at a 
later hour on those days. The Feasts of the Sacred 
Heart, Precious Blood, the Purification, Annuncia- 
tion, Nativity, and Presentation of the B. V, M., 
the Apparition at Lourdes, the Commemoration of 
the Scapular, the Feasts of St. Joseph, St. Ann, St. 
John Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, etc. have a real 
interest for all well instructed Catholics. Most peo- 
ple are willing to make efforts in this direction dur- 
144 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

ing Advent and I^nt, while any attention givi •> 
Rogation Days, All Souls' Day, the Feast » Si. 
Blase, and other occasions of special devotion is 
sure to assemble large numbers. 

Convenience in assisting at Mass depends also 
upon the occupation, circumstances, and respective 
distances from the church. This should be kept 
in mind even to the extent of announcing Mass at 
different hours on different days of the week, with 
the view of making provision for each class. In 
the case of school children within easy distance, 
some pastors have found that to require their at- 
tendance just one morning weekly gives the best 
results. 

Most Catholic people, especially in country places, 
soon evince a willingness to be present at Requiem 
High Mass announced as month's mind or anniver- 
sary of a deceased friend or acquaintance. An oc- 
casional exhortation from the pulpit will be sufRcient 
to promote this. 

The above suggestions contemplate a pastor with 
only one church to attend. Where his care extends 
to two or more distinct congregations, there seems 
to be no reason why all should not receive equal con- 
sideration, as far as health and leisure permit. If 
thirty or forty or fifty families find themselves lo- 
cated at some distance from the parish rectory, that 
is not ample justification for cutting them off for- 
ever from the benefit of a weekday Mass. Being 
with them frequently under such conditions may en- 
tail considerable difficulty, but, on the other hand, 
their appreciation of any effort we make in this 
direction more than repays the time and trouble we 
give to it. In general it may be said that a prevail- 
145 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



m 



ing indifference to opportunities of assisting at 
Holy Mass argues some radical defect in either 
people or pastor, if not in both. 

Somehow or other, we get the impression that 
sick calls — adminstering the Sacraments in danger 
of death — represent a very considerable proportion 
of a priest's labors. How is it we hear so little of 
the time regularly required to attend the aged and 
invalid who are unable to receive the Sacraments 
in the church? Here is a duty much more exten- 
sive and burdensome than the other. Ordinarily 
more than one in every hundred of a parish popula- 
tion will belong to this class. To enable ten or 
twelve to receive the Sacraments monthly — as would 
be required in the congregation of a thousand souls 
— becomes an undertaking of some magnitude, es- 
pecially in a country parish where the majority may 
live several miles away. I recall one zealous pas- 
tor whose congregation of over three thousand was 
made up of town residents and farmers from one 
to seven miles distant. Communion weekly for in- 
valids within the town, and monthly for all outside, 
was the fixed rule, regular provision for which, his 
assistants understood, was no less essential than their 
presence in the confessional on Saturday afternoon 
and evening. 

If we are really in earnest in the desire to promote 
frequent Communion, here is a portion of ourpeo- 
ple who cannot consistently be overlooked. Their 
condition craves our consideration; our visits will 
be among the few cheerful events in their sad, quiet 
lives; it will be our consolation to have done this 
great work of charity. Meanwhile their disposi- 
tions are assured. They are living lives of seclu- 
146 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

sion; they are no longer engrossed in worldly in- 
terests; their contemplations readily turn to God 
and eternity; their privations and sufferings lead 
them along the way which their Redeemer chose for 
Himself; where else outside the cloister shall we 
expect grace to fructify in greater abundance? As 
ministers of grace how can we refuse them generous 
attention ? 

It can be safely urged that multiplying opportuni- 
ties for confessions, facilitating approach to this 
Sacrament, will necessarily contribute to its frequent 
reception Let us not be afraid of "spoiling" our 
people in this way. Going to confession at all is 
a very decided effi t, even for the fervent; why 
hesitate to relieve the burden? In the administra- 
tion of city churches we commend the multiplica- 
tion of confessors, promptness and patience in the 
discharge of their duty, and every other regulation 
calculated to remove the penitent's difficulties and 
inconveniences; why so great timidity in removing 
the obstacle of distance for the country resident, 
with whom going to confession means the expendi- 
ture of hours, providing a conveyance and frequently 
contending with unfavorable roads and weather? 
If circumstances do not permit multiplying churches 
for his convenience, what objection can there be to 
multiplying our visits in his neighborhood? Per- 
haps a careful scrutiny of conscience might reveal 
that the dread of trouble to ourselves much more 
than of injury to his spiritual interests controls our 
decision. It is sometimes said, "Give people the 
habit of going to confession near home and they 
will decline to go a distance." I wish to state 
emphatically that all my experience is in flat con- 
147 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

tradiction of this. Make a more frequent confes- 
sion possible for people and they will thereafter 
make greater sacrifices to maintain this frequency. 
Surely, the grace of this Sacrament attracts; surely 
their appreciation of that grace will become greater. 
No matter what the conditions, every country pas- 
tor will wisely reserve all the hours after midday on 
Saturday for service in the confessional. His re- 
sourcefulness in adapting plans to particular exigen- 
cies and his generosity in carrying them out, will 
have practically all to do in securing frequent con- 
fession, and therefore frequent Communion, among 
his people. If his paiish be compact, the process 
is simple, though he mav find it advantageous at 
times to reserve certain hours for the convenience 
of those penitents whose circumstance of distance 
or occupation render attendance more difficult. If, 
on the contrary, a considerable number are remote, 
he should arrange to hear confessions during the 
afternoon in some house in that locality, leaving the 
evening hours for the accommodation of those who 
can easily get to the church. These remote groups 
of families may be settled in several localities in 
opposite directions from the rectory. This condi- 
tion the pastor can meet by distributing the Saturday 
afternoons of the month among the different groups. 
A similar distribution of his time will ordinarily 
solve the problem of providing for the greatest 
number when he has two different churches to attend 
on Sunday. Outlying small missions are usually 
more or less scattered, and may necessitate his ar- 
ranging an hour of confession in some private house, 
to provide better opportunities for one or other 
given sections. The young priest may think that 
he usually finds ample time on Sunday morning in 
148 



RURAL PASTOR'S WEEKDAY 

small missions to hear the confessions of all who 
present themselves. Precisely; and the number of 
confessions will continue limited so long as he limits 
his people to this one opportunity. Multiplication 
of opportunities invariably leads to multiplication of 
confessions. In this great work of zeal it is for 
us to set the pace, not the people. The more a 
pastor contrives to have it generally understood 
that Saturday afternoon, and not Sunday morning, 
is the proper time for confessions, and the more he 
endeavors to realize this idea in practice, the better 
the results from every point of view. 

A certain portion of the pastor's weekday leisure 
will be claimed by the delinquent. Every parish 
has Its quota of these. In country districts where 
temptations against the Faith acquire little momen- 
tum, where the exemplary conduct of one's neighbor 
IS a constant, living inspiration, where neglect of 
re igious duties is rare, where negligence in their 
tultilment brings disrepute and disgrace, such cases 
should be rare. Much of this may prevail in cities, 
despite the most energetic pastor's zeal; it will not 
assume grave dimensions in a country parish where 
the pastor does his part. Among the people we are 
accustomed to deal with on this side of the Atlantic, 
delinquencies are rarely accompanied with complete 
loss of faitli. For this reason especially the hope of 
reform is much greater than is generally supposed. 
A young pastor will err in underestimating the 
power he possesses over those unfortunate fellows. 
The remedy is much less in tact than in a frequent 
visit, every care being taken to preserve Christian 
patience and a gentlemanly consideration. Ninety- 
five per cent, at the very least, will yield sooner or 
later. Even the most stubborn cannot fail to ap- 
149 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

predate the effort a priest is unselfishly making for 
their greater good, nor will God, on His part, fail 
to bless an effort inspired by the desire to gain 
Him another soul. But, on the other hand, no 
pastor with time at his disposal can justify neglect- 
ing to go again and again after those lost sheep 
of his fold. In studying the case of delinquents in 
country parishes, the question of marriage or no 
marriages becomes a live issuc. It would seem 
that few men will continue faithful in the discharge 
of their religious duties without a mother, a sister, 
or a wife to lead them on. 



ii 



ISO 



CHAPTER IX 

Attending Scattered Missions 

tJOWEVER much those of us whose native 
tongue IS English may feel the need of a more 
extensive Catholic literature, we certainly cannot 
complain of the dearth of valuable works on the 
subject of Pastoral Theology. Already three Car- 
dinals have left the stamp of their genius on trea- 
tises truly able and admirable; others, like the late 
Bishop Hedley and Father Keatinge, deserve our 
lasting gratitude; while the past twenty years have 
presented the interesting spectacle of fiction being 
wielded to serve the same purpose. All of these, 
however, contemplate the priest dealing with con- 
gregations in normal conditions. Not much has 
yet been said to guide him in difficulties which vary 
with the variety of circumstances under which an in- 
dividual or group of individuals find themselves. 
u L P"*"?"*^ °^ drawing attention to some of 

these, the following suggestions are offered regard- 
ing the attending of a scattered mission, or one in 
which a small number of Catholic families are lo- 
cated for the most part at a considerable distance 
from the church and from one another. 

The rule which most surely covers every require- 
ment is that which says: "Their fervor will in- 
crease or decline in proportion to the time which the 
priest spends in their midst." It is the limitation 
to this time more than inexperience, or lack of train- 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

ing, or accomplishments, or tact, which stands out 
as the one impediment seriously affecting the spirit- 
ual care of such congregations. The young assist- 
ant, always ready for late and early hours in the con- 
fessional, for High Mass Sunday after Sunday, for 
the aftermidnight call to the Emergency Hospital, 
may very likely demur at the prospect of absenting 
himself frequently from his room or library or ac- 
customed pursuits to pass hours and days with no 
pressing engagements, taking part perhaps in con- 
versations and pastimes in which he finds no inter- 
est. Even the Indian. missionary, deprived of every 
luxury, often of the commonest necessaries of life, 
subjected to all manner of hardships and fatigues, 
finds nothing more trying than the want of compan- 
ionship, the dull, wearying routine, the frequent re- 
turns of ennui. All this, however, does not excuse 
us; we have been ordained for the people; our time 
is for them. 

God has willed that the Grace on which their 
salvation depends come through our ministry, and, 
as Cardinal Newman has established, "Personal 
influence is the means of propagating the Truth." 
Herein lies our power over their minds and hearts. 
It is instinctive in a fervent Christian to crave for 
the recognition and affection of the priest. Much 
more than we generally imagine, they are given to 
identify their devotion to religion with the esteem 
in which they hold their pastor. Illogical, unwar- 
ranted, as his conduct may seem, that state of mind 
which makes it possible for a man of Faith to stay 
away from Mass because of some dislike for the 
priest is a consequence of this. And there is also 
the consoling feature that a very much larger 
number are corresponding more faithfully with their 
152 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

religious duties because of the personal regard they 
enterta,„ for h,m If, therefore, we would bring 
the people to God, we must be among them: if we 
would be all we should be in assisting them i^ thdr 
truggle for eternal happiness, we must be with 
them not only in spirit and affection but personally 

ZLT I.- ^" " -"""J^y '"'*''°" how can those 
ntimate relations exist between pastor and people 
f they see him only during the few hours he is in 
their church on an occasional Sunday morning? 
.,,11 ^' T ^"'^ not forget that these people gen- 
erally do their part; they contribute to our support 
without a murmur; they answer our call; they fol- 
ofutr'^n fiH= '^'^ ^ '"'"'"S to give us their ab- 
Miner (u^'a ^° '^""'^^ they experience a 
rnoiTif abandonment, observing us month after 
month, year after year, without any disposition to 
be near them, or to cultivate their friendship, or 
even serve them beyond the minimum of time which 
the broadest conception of duty demands. Should 
this small distant congregation be residents of a 
town, our frequent visits become a matter of still 
more urgent need. There are greater temptations ; 
there are more dangerous forces at work; there are 
greater distractions; there is less simplicity of Faith 
Any neglect on our part may soon be attended with 
serious consequences. 

There are other reasons demanding the proloneed 
stay in a scattered mission, and these more cogent 
than the former. Those people, like all others, 
must have ample opportunities of receiving the 
Sacraments; they also need instruction and exhorta- 
tion; children are to be instructed and prepared for 
the Sacraments; adults in similar need will be found 
occasionally; sometimes there is a convert to in- 
U3 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

struct; there are delinquents to be aroused; the old 
and Invalid to be attended; now and then an un- 
fortunate marriage case to be adjusted; there are 
prevailing evils to be stamped out, scandals to be 
prevented, quarrels to be settled; there must be time 
for the care of the church and the sanctuary ; from 
time tp time acolytes are to be trained and every 
provision made that Holy Mass be offered with all 
the respect and reverence possible; in many places 
time and effort can maintain a choir capable of con- 
tributing to the devotion of the congregation. It 
goes without saying that in these days of rural tele- 
phone service, imprpved roads, and motor cars at 
a price which all can reach, failure to meet the 
needs of a scattered congregation is less easily 
excusable. 

It is perfectly clear that all this can not be ac- 
complished in a hurried trip on Sunday morning, 
leaving for home again as soon as the congregation 
has dispersed after Mass. Very often nothing more 
is possible just then because of the exigencies which 
oblige a priest to multiply himself on Sunday in 
order that the greatest possible number have an 
opportunity of hearing Mass. But when the Sun- 
day rush is over, can we sit leisurely in our libraries 
satisfied in conscience that we '.lave done all that can 
reasonably be expected of us in fulfilling our obliga- 
tion toward the people at a distance? 

Successful work among even a very limited '! Ti- 
ber so circumstanced requires a more than ordi. "y 
initiative. There is a danger of our overlooking 
this. In a compact parish, no matter how large, 
the manifold ordinary duties easily adapt themselves 
to a routine. The hours for Mass, confession, etc., 
come round of their own accord; religious instruc- 
154 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

tion is conducted at fixed hours in the parish school; 
one hundred or two hundred are prepared for con- 
hrmation, no further organization being necessary 
«ian dividing them into a certain number of classes. 
Ihere is little in the way of our administering a 
city parish much the same as a neighbor administers 
his. But in a scattered mission the distance of fam- 
ilies from church and from one another, the incon- 
veniences of seasons, road, etc., and the absence 
of Catholic schools necessitate a constant foresight 
in assembling people, or meeting them individually, 
so that the hearing of a few confessions, the prepar- 
ing fifteen or twenty children for the Sacraments, 
IS accomphshed only through a succession of plans 
and appointments as varying as the circumstances 
to be provided for. The ceaseless demands on the 
time and energy of priests assigned to large city 
parishes have no parallel in the life of a pastor 
whose flock, though scattered, is not numerous. 
Nevertheless a pastor so situated, proving himself 
equal to one emergency after the other, whose peo- 
ple give evidence of adequate attention and thorough 
training, leaves no doubt that success was due to^ 
a rare resourcefulness and a rare capacity for 
organization. 

Edifying attendance at public devotions, vary- 
ing with the recurrence of feasts and liturgical sea- 
sons, so characteristic of the fervent city parish, it 
IS useless to attempt to secure in a country church, 
most of whose people reside at a considerable dis- 
tance. The efforts of the zealous pastor who has to 
face such a condition must be confined in great meas- 
ure to the promotion of devotions which may be 
practised in the home. There is also the compensa- 
tion that the quiet of a country home affords greater 
IJ5 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

facilities for private and family devotion than are 
possible amid the distractions of the busy, pleasure- 
seeking city. 

Through his visits to the home as well as through 
the pulpit the practice of family prayer can be uni- 
versally established. Devotions in accordance with 
the season can be provided for by recommending 
in addition, e. g. the use of meditations and reflec- 
tions on the Passion during Lent, the Litany of St. 
Joseph in March, the Thirty-days' Prayer to the 
Blessed Virgin in May, the Litany of, or acts of 
Reparation to, the Sacred Heart in June, the Litany 
of the Saints on Rogation Days, the regularly pre- 
scribed Rosary Devotions in October, etc., etc. 
Providing homes with suitable and ample reading 
matter is the task easiest of all to accomplish. A 
little effort year after year makes the church li- 
brary possible under the most straitened financial 
conditions. No district is too distant, no people 
are too scattered, to be honored by the visit of the 
Catholic book-agent, especially when assured of the 
pastor's cooperation. A like assistance will be 
guaranteed in prevailing upon parents to supply their 
houses with religious pictures, statues, crucifixes, etc., 
an object well worthy the zealous pastor's attention. 
Some managers of Catholic weeklies have already 
agreed, and probably all would agree, to the pro- 
posal that the paper be sent free of charge for three 
or four weeks to every family in the mission on the 
pastor's furnishing the names and addresses. With 
the usual exhortations from the pulpit on the duty 
of providing Catholic reading for the home, it has 
been found that an average of more than ninety 
per cent asked to continue the subscription when the 
three or four months had expired. I have dwelt 
IS6 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

on these details at some letiKth, because we (jener- 
ally discover that people deprived of all the advan- 
tages of attending church regularly are precisely 
those whose homes are lacking in all those externals 
which contribute to private devotion, and because 
the pastor can succeed in having the families of a 
scattered mission so provided with these helps with 
no greater difficulty than will be required to place 
them in the homes of a city parish. When people 
can assist at Mass only once or twice a month, more 
than ordmary care is required on the part of the 
pastor to keep them mindful of the obligation of 
sanctifying Sunday. In every congregation so cir- 
cumstanced we find certain good families scrupulous 
in the practice of setting apart an hour or more 
for reading the prayers at Mass, reciting the Rosary, 
teaching Catechism, or other pious exercises. 

This we can safely teach and exhort. Whether 
in the pulpit, or the confessional or in private con- 
versations, to lay this dowr as an invariable rule 
will produce none but the most wholesome results. 
The true Catholic home is well supplied with prayer- 
books. The pastor will do well to interest him- 
self in the character of the prayerbooks offered for 
use. Between the aim to catch the eye with an 
attractive, costly binding and the aim to produce 
a book occupying the least possible pocket spnce, 
publishers are flooding the market with a variety of 
manuals whose existence is probably impeding rather 
than stimulating the devotion of the faithful. 

All these assistances can be provided for families 
in a scattered mission even more effectively than in 
a city. Not so with the work on which more de- 
pends than upon anything else — the instruction of 
the children. Here more than in anv other under- 
'57 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

taking will initiative be a desideratum in the pastor. 
It IS claimed by some that the priest who finds no 
attraction and wins no success in teaching catechism 
iitpso facto disqualified for the work of the min- 
istry. Whether such a one might do valuable serv- 
ice in a compact parish where the need is largely 
supplied byr a parish school and religious teachers, 
1 " u"''*,*'"'.y '•"omed to failure from the outset 
when his lot IS cast among people deprived of these 
advantages. How are tTie poor children of the 
scattered congregation to be reached with anything 
like frequency? First and foremost, the pastor 
must impress upon parents in season and out of sea- 
son that this duty is primarily theirs; that each house 
IS constituted a school of religious instruction of 
which he will be the regular inspector. He can go 
further and teach parents publicly and privately how 
the work of this school should be conducted, how 
much— or rather how little— may be expected of 
the children each week and each month; he can 
point out the mistakes they as teachers are likely 
to make. When he has succeeded in having the 
parents attend to this duty under his direction, he 
will already have wrought wonders for the sanctifica- 
tion of the parents even more than of the children. 
Unless there reside in the vicinity an experienced 
teacher, zealous, devoted, and willing, it is better 
not to establish a Sunday School; it accomplishes 
little and parents will assume that they are thereby 
reheved from the obligation. Some pastors have 
the custom of confining their efforts to the six, or 
eight, weeks immediately preceding the date of 
Hrst Communion and Confirmation, requiring the 
children to give most of their school hours to 
Catechism, perhaps requiring them to attend the 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

parish school in town during that Vmc There it 
much to be said against the system; if a pastor 
dispenses himself from attending to the children's 
religious instruction during .,ine or ten months of 
the year, most likely parents will dispense them- 
selves also. 

Conditions in some places :idmit of a class being 
arranged for the Saturdriv evenings previous to the 
regular occasion for Mass. failing this, and very 
often with it— because rarely iiin th. iiiorc distant 
be got to attend— tlie ptactit of conducting a 
Latechism class in place ..1 rhi on'inaiy Sunday 
sermons, the congregation siijl j.n scni, can be very 
safely recommended. Adult members aKvays find 
it interesting and usually stand in need of it. Be- 
sides, a Catechism class well prepared for suggests 
admirable opportunities of here and there address- 
mg oneself to the particular needs of adult members. 
How often educated men and women tell us that no 
sermon so appeals to them as the one given at the 
children's Mass. But since these occasions present 
themselves at best only once or twice a month, with 
distance, weather, roads, insufficient means of con- 
veyance, and indifferent parents interfering, it will 
be absolutely necessary to arrange for hours of in- 
struction on certain week days, varying the place of 
the meeting so that children of different sections may 
in turn enjoy the convenience afforded by shorter 
distance. Efforts such as these invariably meet 
with a generous response. At times one family, 
especially when isolated or when the parents are 
negligent, will require a special visit. No priest 
who has taken this trouble, assembling the children 
for Catechism round their own fireside, the parents 
present, absorbed and more or less conscience- 
159 



m: 



i 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

stricken, has ever regretted the expenditure of time 
It entailed. No warning so surely rouses parents to 
a sense of responsibility; it generally establishes a 
practice of home instruction and family devotions; 
even one visit has in some cases turned the members 
ot the family, old and young, in the way of complete 
retoirm. W e are reminded here also of a practice 
cited by one pastor to show how modern conven- 
iences may be pressed into service of religious in- 
struction. A family seven miles from church, no 
immediate Catholic neighbors, four or five children 
attending a public school, the father a Protestant 
an easy-going Catholic mother who could not be 
trained to give any help— what was to be done? 
Unce a week the pastor summoned the children one 
after another to the telephone, required them to 
state what portion of the Catechism they had sev- 
erally committed to memory '.-ing the previous 
week; this he carefully noted ^own and ass.gned 
each a task for the following week. Then at his 
convenience, once in six or eight weeks, he visited 
the home to examine results and give such explana- 
t'ons of doctrine as time permitted. To carry out 
all these suggestions, it is evident, requires time, 
attention, and system; it is also evident that, these 
three requisites assured, no Catholic child need grow 
up uninstructed. 

It must be remembered also that this is the day 
of frequent Communion and our obligation to pro- 
rnote the practice extends to both the distant and 
the near. We can succeed with the distant by al- 
ways remembering the same three rules : Go often ; 
Go early; Do not hurry back. Even in the most 
scattered congregations monthly confessions and 
Communion for all is a standard by no means too 
1 60 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

difficult to reach. In the last analysis it will depend 
on our readiness to minister to them. The priest 
in attendance can fix an hour for confessions on 
Saturday afternoon m some private house convenient 
to all in one quarter of the mission, thus leaving 
greater leisure on Sunday morning for people com- 
ing from other directions. In the statutes of some 
dioceses it is enjoined that the priest attending dis- 
tant missions on Sunday remain for Mass Monday 
morning, thereby providing additional opportunities 
for approaching the Sacraments, especially for the 
aged and feeble. Then under certain conditions, 
in order to accommodate all, we shall have to fall 
back on the time-honored institution, so invariably 
associated with missionary experience and always 
recalled by the missionary with feelings of tender- 
ness and consolation. I mean the station. Never 
do priest and people seem to unite in such genuine 
friendship, never does the awful reality of the priest- 
hood dawn with such brilliancy upon the minds and 
hearts of those simple children of the Faith, as 
when, assembled in a small room at the command of 
His minister, they seem to hear the Son of God 
say as He did to Zacheus of old, "This day I must 
abide in thy house." 

Associating, as is the universal practice of the 
Church, the public celebration of Holy Mass with 
the instruction of the congregation, I can suggest 
no more generous provision for Catholics enjoying 
so few advantages than by quoting the advice of 
one now nearing the completion of five decades in 
attendance upon scattered missions: "Never allow 
a congregation to go away without a few words 
of exhortation or explanation of doctrine. Whether 
it was a station, or funeral, or marriage, or some 
i6i 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

other happening, which brought them together, I 
could never resist an impulse which spoke in terms 
unmistakable, 'Have you, the ambassador of High 
Heaven, no message for those poor, struggling 
pilgrims?'" The very circumstances surrounding 
such situations are often an inspiration in them- 
selves, and the priest speaks freely and warmly ex 
abundantta cordis. Nevertheless this must not be 
interpreted in support of the fallacy too often en- 
tertained that less preparation is necessary for a 
sermon to a small countrv congregation than for 
appearing in the cathedral of a large city. It is 
always the individual we are addressing; our com- 
munication is to him directly, not through the me- 
dium of the audience of which he forms a part; his 
intelligence is equally keen whether surrounded by 
fifty or by a thousand; our capability of impress- 
ing him is but flightlv affected by hi» being alone, 
in the midst of a frw, or in the midst of many 
hundreds. The oldf we all grow in the ministry 
the more willing we are to concede as a result of 
personal experience that any sermon of ours which 
commanded the people's attention in a country 
church or in a small town, was assured of a like 
success before a large city congregation; and vice 
versa, that any sermon which failed to reach the 
hearts of a city congregation would afford very little 
interest to the smallest country parish in the diocese. 
Catholics who rarely if ever assist at Benedic- 
tion, who never attend the Forty Hours' Adoration, 
in whose church the Blessed Sacrament is never re- 
served, may have only a very faint understanding 
of the doctrines of the Blessed Eucharist and the 
Sacrifice of the Altar, may be so little impressed by 
162 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

the astounding miracle of the Real Presence, as to 
go through life never entertaining the lively devo- 
tion which a realization of these truths should in- 
spire. To arrange, permissti Ordinarii, a day of 
Exposition once a year in their little church would be 
a very slight tax on us and an experience of untold 
benefit to them. With the same object in view, we 
can also prepare to have the ceremonies of First 
Communion and Confirmation carried out with every 
possible effort at impressivencss. 

The young priest unfamiliar with the situation 
may picture to himself an endless round of journeys 
as essential to living up to the suggestions offered 
in this paper. To combine these different tasks, 
to arrange that several, no matter how varying in 
character, may be attended to during each visit, is 
precisely the sphere in which his talent for organiza- 
tion will have play. A habit of looking ahead will 
be an invaluable asset, of thinking ubout things in 
time; then the effort of writing half a dozen postal 
cards or sending half a dozen telephone messages 
will generally make it possible to accomplish as 
much in one trip as otherwise would require days of 
travelling and trouble. But after all is said and 
done it must not be forgotten that the great essen- 
tial factor of success in scattered missions is the 
priest's willingness to multiply his visits to them. 
There is nothing heroic in the undertaking unless in 
so far as a buggy or automobile ride now and then 
over country roads can be considered heroic. 
The bother of absenting oneself from home, the 
privation of comforts, wearisome delays, tedious 
hours in company not always interesting and con- 
genial, all this also falls to the lot of any commercial 
163 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

crow„,t indeed a"^ ilt^JtSere '' -'-''"^ 

for generations with a fervor rarely surpassed S 
thej^ oty congregations are indebte'd foT some of 
their most ed.fying members, and the priesThood 
and rehgious bodies for many valuable recrdts 

famir^'".."'' '°'='' ^^-"^ notably below forty or fifty 
families the outcome is decidedly problematic An 
.ndividual fam ly living ten or fffteen Ss fmm a 

he"rf miJrf'^^"' "^ ^^V^°"" ^-"ered here Tnd 
there miles from everythmg, a prosperous town 
with four or five Catholic families and a churchTn" 
whet*^ if ° ^;;«7-odate a few stray ones Lme- 
h^If n A f "m '^^ .^'■°""^' ^" island on which 

off rL/r .^"">'".'[='ve planted themselves, cut 

world .hi "°" "^-'^ '\''y °'^'' Catholic in the 
world— these are typical of conditions in which the 
most zealous pastor finds that little or nothing can 
be accomplished. His best efforts are largeVIn 
vain. The older people who have come there 
trong in the Faith will persevere; but whaT s there 
for the rising generation? They fraternize with 
non-Catholics, their surroundings are heretical ir 

the^;r: tTe^'t' S^^^"= f'^' -arriag's'wni e 
Ilrnl/.^ ' the attendance of a priest is necessarily 
mited and the response more limited still. There 

o T r^'^ \^' T- ''"P' °^ ^='^''"S their poster ty 
tire V Church-the.r removal from the place en^ 
tirely. Preach this unceasingly; if possible have", 
mission conducted among them wFth his' .s the 

abs°ollt:" = - " '7'y- ^•"'"- ^- ^t showing tJe 

absolute necessity of giving up their present sur- 

164 



SCATTERED MISSIONS 

rcHindings if they would save their souls and the 
souls of the.r children and grandchildren. "Un- 

hU^l/h" u-rc'-^ ™" "^^^ ^'" '^"™«^ there, 

his old haunts, his life-long mends, likely the grave 
of his parents or children; moreover his business is 
there, his position; the means of supporting his 
family. Can l.e be expected to forsake all thif and 
go abroad after an uncertainty?" The obstacles 
are certainly great, but the attempt has been made 
more than once and with success. The results do 
not come all at once; but the ordinary Catholic 
warned o, this, month after month, becomes afraid 
of the terrible responsibility he is assuming. He 
cannot go now ,t is true, but he has decided that if 
some day, he should have an opportunity to dispose 
o his business or property on reasonable terms or 
a« oTi? ^tT'' I'^-^^here he will take advan- 
tage of It Thenceforward he is or, the lookout- 
he ,s in the state of mind which gives results— to 

L? '^"a ["t""*' ^""^ *°""= 'J^Ahe opportunit? 
comes and he leaves. ^ ' 

Falling back on the old proverb which declares 
tluf^T ^"'r' "^ P'-^vention and cure, we 
might be tempted to ask: "Would it not be well 
if every congregation in the land were occasionally 
warned .^ the mevtabie danger awaiting the chiU 
dren of those who would ma e a permanent r. I 
dence m such places " How many of as remei.ber 
hearing this the theme of the Sunday sermon? 
How many of our Catholic papers emphasize, or 
even draw attention to, this danger? 

I pray the reader not to be horrified at the final 

suggestion cncerning these forlorn places, the 

towns and country districts with a population all but 

completely non-Catholic. Do not erect a church 

i6s 



!ii 

Ml 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

in";, ^- ""'\^'' ^^/ """«= °f another family or 
two passing their days amid all those danL« 
to their eternal salvation. The ayeral lavm/n 

a Cathnr ^r'-K^"" '"•'"i'"'^ '^ 'l^'^ Pl»" possess^ 
a Catho ic church; assured of this he is satisfied 
and makes no further inquiries regarding the 
frequency of attendance, the proyisions for re 
terextlT!i°"' ^"i^"* °PP-tunities for weekday 
rSnf r.?h /•"''■^ deyotions, etc., the number of 
soc ate nl , "' T^^ ^''°'" ^'' f=""'ly 'n'»y as- 
he assume?th.."?h"''' P""""" /In-ost unconscious 
ne assumes that the presence of a church is an en 
courag for Catholics to locate ther" OnTy" 

wr.n°'"u •''"'"?.. afterward does he fully reaHze 
what all this will mean. On the othe" hand fh! 
.nformation that the place was without a cttho 

he'^outsLr Th°e^ Tli "J^-Vdecided him Sm 
i"c outstart. Ihe Catholic Cnurch Exten^nn 
Society erects small churches in districts unprSd 
for; occasions may arise when this seeming work 
of zeal could be a mistake. ^ 



x^ 



CHAPTER X 

What Is the Ovtlook for the Growth of 
Catholicity in Our Cities? 

'TPHE prcM and legislative bodies of our country 
B W'^u'^ u^^ propaganda "Back to the Land." 
„.^i '^'* '^^"iPa'gn is the assumption or 
rather the assurance that the manhood ofa nation 
degenerates m aty life. Little or nothing has been 
said as yet about the probable effect upon the faith 
and rehgion of the people who have spent years 
riL^"'T"i'T " '■"■'^/"ts of a large and prosperous 
fh?; th some of our zealous pastors maintain 

that the record of leakage in rural districts of this 
country, and the advantages the city offers in the 
possession of churches, schools, administration of 
the Sacraments, and all that goes to develop reli- 
giou» fervor and sentiment, justify the expenditure 
of effort in bringmg our Catholic men from country 
districts to take up their residence in the city. 
Others on the contrary— most likely the majority— 
ot our missionaries deplore the depletion of our 
country parishes. This article aims at supporting 
a theory that life in a large city almost alwavs tends 
to undermtne the faith. 

We go so far as to say that there are no city 

Catholics; that a population of city Catholics left 

tor three or four generations, without any recruits 

whatever from country districts, would certainly be 

167 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

fnr^h^" '*?«" °^ irreligion and indifference; that 

and practice which we witness in our city parishes 
.f examined one by one, will be found to be of people 

7hl°rtu\" '°T'/'°'" ^l"' '°""'^y themselves or of 
the chldrcn of those who have come from country 
districts; .,.d generally that the faith and pie?y o? 
a Cath...: residing or brought up in a large city 

t^ l-i'.T°T" '° '^' '^^R''" '" ^hich the coun- 
try spirit has been operative in the home in which 
he was reared. 

er^iZ' ?k'"/ ^"■■fh" we. wish to remind our read- 
ers, first, that ail calculations on moral conditions 
have exceptions— "exceptions prove the rule"; and 
we therefore are prepared to hear of cases which 
would be exceptions to the above statement; 
secondly, we are speaking here of the large cities 
—that IS to say, a city whose population is so great 
that the spirit which characterizes social life in the 
countrv and smaller towns is no longer found within 
It. Many of our smaller cities, of say ten, twenty, 
or thirty thousand inhabitants, perhaps more, re' 
semble the country much more than the larper citv 
in the unworldliness and quiet of their lives, iu their 
freedom from dangerous influences and association, 
m the absence of distraction, sensation, and tempta- 
tion, in the conditions which permit aspirations for 
another world to have place. The smaller towns 
and smaller cities hold the middle place between 
the country and large city in the possession of re- 
ligious spirit, and— not absolutely, of course— but 
very much in proportion to the size of the eiven 
town or city. Thirdly, it should be said that, in 
order to arrive at a safe conclusion in matters of this 
kind It IS necessary to study individual cases. 
i68 



CITY CATHOLICS 

..y^fu,"' T'^^ prepared to hear that critics, hi(;hly 
reputab e, characterize the theory here advanced as 
false, absurd. Whv should they not? Can Lev 
not pm. t to our Catholic American cities, to the 
splenrhd manifestations of faith therein, crowded 
churches at every service, the frc.;ue,u«l.,n of the 
bacramcnts, to the noble sacrifices our laitv are mak- 
ing to support their churches and schools, and in 
contnbi^^ing generously to every project undertaken, 
or even suggested, in the cause of relitrion' We 
real,7.e that all this is true. Too much cannot be 
said in praise of the loyalty, generositv, obedience, 
and the reverence for their spiritual leaders to be 
found everywhere in our city parishes. But— and 
all we have to say turns on this question— tt,/,o are 
these splendid Catholics in our eilv parishes? 

1 he we in this article stands for the pastor and 
curates of a parish in a large American city, who for 
ten years earned on a systematic study of the effects 
on religion of life in the city and in the country 
respectively. The parish was small, alwavs less 
than two thousand souls, a circumstance wh:.;i Mve 
us leisure to go fully into details. The results of 
our inquiry astounded us; every additional move, 
every new census served only to confirm the con- 
clusions we were being driven to; so much so that 
at last we decided to give them to the Catholic 
public. Owing to the rapid growth of the city the 
population of the parish was constantly changing 
so that we had an entirely new population within 
the space of three years. Moreover, many of the 
newcomers were immigrants from different Eur- 
opean countries, which gave the greater variety for 
the material we had to examine. We aimed at 
making the immediate acquaintance of every 
169 ' 



i 



Ml 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

newly arrived family or individual. In every case 
we asked the questions, "Where were you born 
and reared?" "Where were your father and 
mother reared?" We have kept an exact record 
of the census. 

As in every other parish, there was a number of 
devout Catholics, and we found that these had them- 
selves come from some country place or were the 
children of parents who had been brought up in a 
country place. It might surprise our readers to 
hear that during ten years of mvestigation we have 
only five or six cases on record of a faithful, devout 
adult Catholic both of whose parents were born and 
reared in a large city. 

It was a regular practice for one of us to take 
note of who were the people present at weekday 
Mass, evening services, or any occasion of extraor- 
dmary devotion; almost always we found that 
every head of a family present was of country 
birth. 

Within the walls of one class-room in any parish 
school, what a different promise of a future every 
pastor beholds in the character and conduct of the 
fifty or sixty children therein subjected to the same 
training! We found this the most interesting 
sphere of inquiry. The boy to whom the teacher 
would call our attention, dwelling upon his punc- 
tuality, his faultless behavior, his piety, we found 
invariably to be a child of parents not many years 
removed from their country home either in America 
or Europe. On the other hand the children of par- 
ents who had their own early training in the city 

and that in many cases the very best any city could 

offer— just as surely fell far below the mark in all 

that was expected of a child brought up in a Catholic 

170 



CITY CATHOLICS 

home, and trained in a Catholic school. We in- 
vite each and every pastor to take a census of his 
school population under these aspects. 

In American cities it is a matter of frequent oc- 
currence for a young man of city rearing to marry 
a girl brought up in the country and vice versa. 
We have found, after making the acquaintance ot 
hundreds of such cases, that the religious spirit of 
the children is due to the parent of country rear- 
ing. One of the surprises we received in the early 
days of our inquiry was that of i husband exemplary 
in the practice of his religion wnose wife could not 
even be got to attend Mass on Sunday. As time 
went on, the meeting of many such cases called for 
special examination of the causes. In the long list 
we have prepared there is not one exception to the 
rule; namely, the husband from the country, the 
wife a city product. 

One census gives the following result: 

Total number of married women in the parish 356 

Women of country rearing 3,c 

Women of city rearing loi 

Of the 255 reared in the country 4 missed Mass habitually 
Uf the loi reared in the city 47 missed Mass habitually. 

A census taken six years later gives the following: 

Total number of married w omen in the parish 391 

Women of country rearing 268 

Women of city rearing 123 

Of those 268 from the cointry 9 missed Mass habitually. 
Of those 123 from the city 52 missed Mass habitually. 

During a mission one year we recorded the minu- 
test details of attendance during the men's week. 
Following are some of the statistics : 
171 



MICROCOPY RESOLUTION TEST CHART 

(ANSI a.id ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




^ y^PPLIED IM^GE Inc 

^1 165J East Mom Street 

r-J= Rochester. New York 1*609 USA 

'..as (716) *82 - 0300 - Phone 

S^ (716) 2S8 - 5989 - Fax 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

Total number of married men in the parish . . 286 

Married men who failed to make the mission ..'.'." 8q 
Marrijd men of country birth who failed to make the 

mission 

4 

Much evidence was gathered on this subject from 
our experience with the ordinary church societies. 

r«, 1t"'f .1°..'^' ' •"'' .^f.^'f'^fi" rcsularly and the 
result of a those inquiries could be best summed 
up m a challenge that would take this form- "We 
defy any pastor to keep a young ladies' Sodality or 
a Holy Name Society in existence for two years in 
a parish entirely composed of city people." 

A very common objection we have heard made 
when announcing our conclusions is that America 
being a young country, its cities must necessarily be 
made up of country people, or their immediate 
descendants. To this we have certainly found an 
answe^r in dealing with a large number of immigrants 
who have taken up their residence in our city and 
in our own parish A young priest beginning his 
observations will be disappointed over and over 
again at the large number of people with Irish 
names whose faith and religious fervor fall so far 
short of the glorious traditions of their race. Soon 
afterward he will notice that the Murphy's and 
Healv s and O'Brien's and Casey's who do not go 
to Mass are not from Ireland but from England, 
and they will declare that their grandfathers and 
perhaps their fathers in Ireland would have sacri- 
hced all the world had to offer rather than be dis- 
loyal to the call of religion. How is this terrible 
falling-off to be explained? We have only to re- 
member that no Ir.shman ever went to England 
to engage in farm labor. They sought a livelihood 
m the industries of Liverpool or Manchester or 
172 



286 
89 



CITY CATHOLICS 

Birmingham; they gave the first impetus to Cath- 
olicity in those cities; they died in the fervor of 
their faith and their grand.-hiidren have sunk into 
indifference. Every pastor deplores the religious in- 
difference of Catholics of Irish names who come 
from England. It is not the difference between 
Ireland and England, but the difference of country 
and city. 

Of late years we have seen much of the profes- 
sional tramp, who comes to our door for a mea" or 
an order for a night's lodging. He gives his name, 
which is Irish, as are also his appearance and accent; 
he professes to be a Catholic; he is nothing else; 
generally he is ready to admit his dissipation; that 
It IS years since he approached the Sacraments; that 
he never, or scarcely ever, goes to Mass. We al- 
ways inquire about his early history, and our long 
list records only two of these unfortunates who 
claimed a country district as their place of birth. 
Meanwhile the column under this heading in the reg- 
ister has to its credit Dublin, Glasgow, London, 
Liverpool, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Mon- 
treal, etc., etc. 

Any one who goes into this question with any 
degree of thoroughness will probably revise his views 
as to the causes of mixed marriages. We are all 
considerably alarmed at the growth of this evil, es- 
pecially in our large cities. We are all offering 
explanations of it; sometimes we blame the schools, 
or perhaps we think we have discovered a remedy 
by greater efforts on the social side of parish work. 
It IS well worth while inquiring, case after case, 
who IS this Catholic proposing to enter into a mixed 
marriage. All who inquire will be convinced of 
the prominent part which city life is taking in prop- 
173 



■■ n 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

such Catholics mix!d"4rHages"'a e rif T"' 

1 7"tKieTtL°T" '■" ''' "^^^^^'^ '-'■ 

riages. Thev and .h,- """''•=»«'"g '"i^d mar- 
reafed in the dtv frni K P"'"",'-' ^""^ ''°'-" ''"d 
every opVortu'^i?; oTToSrdZlir" ^'^^•''^'^ 
—perhaps they h,ve ^0^50^ W . ^«°^'^t.'°"s 

Wher^ !lT ^^ersion to such unions. 
Much of the bes'tC ^'"d --eligipus come from? 
to the citv fh. rh-M '^ "/ '^f "^f'°" fi"ds its way 
every promise otwh^^ -^ T'^ P"^"'" should give 

CathX^s^ools d y^chilSr^L'' o7 b'7h '" "'''""' 
constantly under Vli»%. ™'"^^en of both sexes are 
every advance of IJ""^ R^Lgious; they have 
qu.-ntation n/ft, c "^^''g'ous instruction, of fre- 
?eliS exercise' ,17""'"'%°^ every 'form of 
thei'r door Fro^ su h^ch-M"'^ ''"^'T-' ^--^ =>* 
to recruit our cler^.nH ='"'''■;!". ^e should hope 
and we are alwavsY.™. .T '^ '^'ous communities; 
such surrounding lamentably disappointed. From 
'but the areatTo;" "f ^°=^^'°"s are developed, 
count*;;.' pC '"r 's^ear^f ^VoT-f ^'""^ 

numerourcle ' ever haT^hr'"" 1 ^ ''"'^"^""y 

York boys of le LrnnH " '^'^'^.^ "P "'^ New 

oys ot the second generation I We should 

174 



:i!M 



CITY CATHOLICS 

recommend each of our readers to ask himself this 
question: "Do I know one priest whose father 
and mother both were born and reared in a large 
city?'' We think there must be such, but after ten 
years inquiry in every quarter we have never heard 
of one. A similar inquiry conducted during the 
same length of time in regard to religious produced 
just one exception to the rule: a father and mother 
born in Glasgow whose three daughters are now in 
the cloister. 

Thus it was that the statistics gathered from every 
aspect of this question pointed to the same conclu- 
sion. Month after month, and year after year, new 
incidents presented themselves to confirm suspicions 
which had been gradually rising. The conclusions 
we have come to sound like the views of an extrem- 
ist. Nevertheless we are convinced that any one 
who will examine the facts before him in his own 
parish or among his immediate acquaintances will 
discover somfhing precisely similar to what we 
have describ- The alarming feature of it all 
is this: that no family leaves the country without 
certain danger to the faith of posterity. It is not 
a matter of chance where some improve and some 
deteriorate. There is no class of people, no system 
of training, no conditions of life, which seem proof 
against this usual result. No matter how fervent 
be the father and mother who take up their abode 
in a large city, their grandchildren or at the very 
furthest their great-grandchildren will give a very 
marked evidence of decadence of faith and religious 
practice. The only possible check on their speedy 
destruction will be in cases where their children or 
grandchildren choose people of country training for 
their life partners. 

I7S 






SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

greater evil to contend ■^^i^rrn'the^ende^cV^r 

ruirrcit^VVeTr ''"''y' ^" "'-" '° 
call the ereSt evil, f "^ Y"'^'^- ^S^'""' ^^at we 

socialt^^drvoS^hf pTb rschTof- ^S'"'"'' 

nage, race.suicide, degen^ra^.'^orthejoor "r l^es" 

eemt W'""" °^ ^^°""f^^ parish,^nor do we 
the^ountrv ior th-!' > ^'•"^, ' V"''""'^ ^^ "change 
■ .n-c: uo race with all these dansers On i-U,- «fi,„ 
vwAt iTaT hi r "^r --«^dfo"side?a"be'le°J n 

aivInc'eT^duSt thTt'^thT;i'ir bf tl^ 

fl'cHnd this ^ r'-r-' "^ ■" "-ess:o°in%S 
h ,1^ 1 ^'"'"*'' f''""" °ff the farm. We have 

tern n^rTanf '" '^"""^ P"'^'''""^ '" 'he cfty f^ 
tnem, perhaps we have even rejoiced to see our 

To"un[rrLr"''"^"'^'"S "P =>' the eVense o 
thereto '^ "°" '"'^ ^'^■'=" ^"""^ encouragement 

JusSv'remark" "^'W ll" •' ^°"°^'^^ "^ ^° ^"^ "i^V 

176 



CITY CATHOLICS 

old as cities." To the consideration of this we have 
given some attention. All three of us have spent 
years m Europe and during recent visits have been 
giving special attention to this question. We take 
the liberty of adding some of the facts colle -ted 

In i- ranee, in the cities of Lyons and Bordeaux 
less than one-third of the Catholics go to Mass on 
Sunday; in Marseilles less than one-fifth. One 
of the staff relates that he and half a dozen visiting 
priests during a stay in Geneva were unanimous in 
their admiration of the Catholicity they witnessed 
in the parish of Notre Dame in that city: large 
crowds at Mass and at the Sacraments, etc., etc 
irom the pastor they eventually learned that the 
parish contained fifteen thousand souls, less than 
three thousand of whom were practical Catholics. 
In iNapIes, the attendance is somewhat better, 
most hkely due to the fact that Naples, being an 
industrial city, offers a constant inducement for 
country people to seek employment there. The 
churches of Florence and Venice, which cities have 
no positions to offer the farm laborer and are living 
on their past, present spectacles on weekday and 
Sunday distressing to the eye of a Catholic. 

One spent four months among the country par- 
ishes of Bavaria and asserts that nowhere outside 
ot Ireland has he witnessed such splendid manifesta- 
tions of faith. What was his horror on visiting 
Its capital— the so-called Catholic city of Munich 
—to observe that only a moiety of its men attended 
Mass on Sunday, and to learn that all its representa- 
tives in the Reichstag were Socialists. It may be 
interesting to add also that the country districts of 
Bavaria elect not even one Socialist. 

Even in Catholic Belgium no traveller fails to 
177 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

remark the sad contrast between the worldiv ir 

the prosperous commercial .nci working peoS' 
and the pauper element. All .re supposed to be 
Ca ho ,c; those of the second chss are practical 
Cathohcs: the nobility have lost t.icir faith to an 
mqu.ry whether or not the paupers of the Im 
d^tncts went to Mass on Sunday' the ,nswe Jas 

of d.stnbutmg the bread and clothing of chari^V' 
All these poor as well as the nobility are the de 

h"r gC'thJ' ''""'fV' ^^"«" in the days t 
fromte.'I'" 'T"'^ '^'"'^ «P'-"ent newcomers 

XT surroundmg country. 

None of the examples we have just cited from 
abroad however, fully establishes the theory we cor^ 
menced to prove: that life in a city tends LundeT 
sTcime^n ^"v U^ "" '"' '"habitants.' The particula" 
specimen which we were anxious to examine was a 
c.ty whose population had continued for genera^ 
r^elltrv '"I 'T"''"^'-^ of the'blfoTo 

uchTs th^ r" '■'^'P' *''" ""*■«' approach to 
such IS the Roman Trastevere. Here is a nennip 

of numerous churches and schoo' • and the at end 

ante of pnests, religious, and saints. Still at this 

moment the new public school near St. Cecilia's has 

178 



i I 



CITY CATHOLICS 

an attendance of fifteen hundred chi'dren who never 
go to Mass on Sunday and a free Catholic school 
in the same block, conducted by the Sisters of St 
Vincent de Paul, with great difficulty secures a 
meagre attendance of one hundred and thirty. The 
traveller has only to see the congregation— or 
rather the almost complete absence of a congrega- 
tion— m St. Cecilia's any Sunday to understand the 
awful religious indifference of the people. 

The modern Venice is also an example of a city 
whose population for generations has received very 
tew recruits from country districts. It also is an 
example of a city which for centuries has been fa- 
vored with almost every advantage the Church can 
provide for her children. The magnificence of her 
numerous churches all the world speaks of; Catholic 
institutions of every kind abound; she has never 
known the privation of a learned clergy; religious 
communities devoted to the education of her youth 
and to every work of charity confront us at every 
*•"■"• In her treasures of art which even her 
humblest citizen daily gazes upon— because they 
are everywhere— she possesses a means of Chris- 
tian training such as no other people on earth ever 
have enjoyed. While provided with all these ex- 
traordinary means of grace she is even up to this 
hour free from almost all the evils which we are ac- 
customed to look upon as the unconquerable enemies 
of religion. Venice was a Catholic state and fos- 
tered the development of religion ; its laws as well 
as Its schools, even to-day, interfere in no way with 
Catholic practice; the people have Catholic associa- 
tions only; mixed marriage is unknown; divorce has 
never taken root in Venice; even Socialism has so far 
gained so little ground as to be unable to elect there 
179 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

preservation o Cathot" „nTv ^"7"^' '° '^' 
population go to Ma«Tn <s ' J^ ^ /,^?"'°" ^- '» 
planation ? We know nf ''"''l ^''" » '"« «■ 
IS a city "'^ °^ "° °'''" ""less that it 

memberof the St Vincent Ip l^""' • P'""'"''""* 
"We a>V» fi^. Vincent de Paul Society remarked • 

bone of every congregation of Dublin was made up 
1 80 ^ 



CITY CATHOLICS 

of a clas, who, if hev themselves had not come from 
the country the.r parents had. One pastor r^ 
marked: "Cut off the :mm:Tration f-om country 
distncts to this city for t^yent -five vearTa'"d our 
churches would he empty." D.blin ' as eve J one 
knows, has numerous priests, diocesan and reirular; 
■ t has large communitie-^ of religious, men ind 

recruited with subjects from country districts the 
c.ty not supplying one-third of the numherTequi ed 
for Its needs. This in a land that has sent apostles 

oiiri^Kl" ".'" ^^ ')^' 5^"^' ■ Something sad e 
sull: Dubhn has ,ts Catholics who do not pract se 

fathet, %!.[;' '^" "^"^ y"-- "^" => thousand 
hr^r I-l". '''"' '" f "''"'y ='"'' ^degradation sell 
the r cnildren to proselytes. We visited the slum 
districts, mostly in the neighborhood of the FouT 
»-o.; ^., and Church Street; every traveller bears 
evidence to the misery and degeneracy that has taken 
possession of that unfortunate population We 
went so far as to accost individual men and women, 
one after another, and inquire about their parentage 
In thirty-nine cases out of fortv-two they and their 
fathers and mothers were Y orn in Dublin. 

ihe Irish clergy throughout the country are do- 
ng evervthing ,n their power to prevent emigra- 
■ on the reasor being that so many who left home 
m the fervent p.-actice of religion lost their faith in 
America. We took the liberty of saving to them 
Is It because they went to America or because in 
America they located themselves in cities?" Arch- 
bishop Hughes stated in igs" that the Catholic 
ponulation of New York Citv at that date waltwo 
Hundred thousand. It wn.ild be interesting to 'mow 
i8i 



i^K 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

ago made the stateLn/^K", ''r" ''"'^ " ""'"--y 

''rrabov^jril^^t"'^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

indlduif easel which tU" '^""' '"i' ''""'^-''» "^ 
vation would "e To furni.h '"'"' "".''" °"'- ""'»"- 
report instead of an ?l-i ""?"'" ^°'" " ^^athtkal 
Nevertheless it U thl .1 ''' u " '"?"^'''y "view, 
tude of ind"idua fa ts hat brin'.T"'"" °^ ? '""'"■- 
viction. We cannot expec '^.Tr^^eTd'^tTr^ 
convinced as we an. of fk ,• !..,• "^" '° •'« as 

we have ad^alced We shou fjtel ° ''" *^T 
stantia. proofs to theTo^tt ' tfl'Tjllt 
for ed l5 ^°"^'"''°"'. into which we have been 

ing their posteritv within nf,„' ■ "^ondemn- 

of faith i^n an ALdcatc ty'r f^Z^'orth/" '°'j 
Catholic families lateiv -TrrL.^ 7 "^ ^ood 

tricts here, and"t present he ve^TfeTf"'^^ '^>- 
panshes and the consolation of S pastors""' T' 

182 



CITY LIFE 



claim that no decis 



laim that no decisive answer can De reached on this 
question by observing Catho; conRrcgations or 
Catholic populations in the mass. We must know 
the religious history of one member after another in 
order to understand of whit that mass is composed. 
Ihe growth or decay of i .ith, as all admit, is not a 
matter of ones own lifetime; and most of us are 
indeoted to our grandparents and great-creat- 
grandparents for whatever solidity of religious 
sentiment we p .sess. The investigation muft be 
carried on by the study of the individual case '\nd 
only the priest who has leisure to be intimately ac 
quamted with his people is in a position to carry on 
such an investigation. If there be any who reg- 
ularly take a census of thr parish, inquiring not 
only into the religious prat .e of the individual or 
the family, but also their place of birth, and the 
place of birth of their parents, we should be most 
interesteu in hearing the result. 



183 



■'ij 



CHAPTER XI 
Catholicity and City Life 
T^An\f&Jt ^-'"'-'-"Z Review. 

midst. The theorv if f ?^ P""^""?'' '" °"r very 
than this. Ao7nklZhiZ"'l,^' ""''""^ '«' 
a large citv The.v „i,-ij ^ "larned hfe in 

advaftageJof S^rch^Jfecho^^^^^ e^r?'"! ^".^'''= 
choose as life-partners Cathnif. ' '" '^"^ '""•= 

women with preciselv fh^ ''L-y°""e "'^n and 

spring of tLse union, ^h■''"' ^"}°'y- The off. 

Cathoh-cs, but in fer^r fhl \ [, ''l"'^'" Practical 
tably beh nd he"r7rlndfiihl «hall have fallen no- 

while a priest or a reS 7' '""^ grandmothers; 

be an inSdent of tL tfv r resH.r""^ ^"^7'" 

also ofthe sccond-ciWrnTnSoTr otpr^^ 

184 



CITY LIFE 

will as adults, appear so devoid of faith and reli- 

In view of the fact that from all parts of the 

crS;'""^?''^, ""'"''^'•.' «^ '^^^°"t Catholics are 
crowding into large cities, the mere possibility of 

ntte^t^Hr'^ " '"'f'T *° ^°"- 'he Le7ne° 
read?ni ^L "^"f ""^^ I must confess that upon 
reading the article for the first time I regarded it 
h^^f absurdity, as foolish hobby-riding, and gave 

ess of 'r^r;'.-'"*'""- O^ ^"""^^ 'he natural pro! 
cess of refutation was to produce a list of cases 
whose history was in flat contradiction of the des 
cnption given above; I did not know of any, but 
was quite sure that many could be found in ^eveJ^ 

My sense of security was first discomfited by a 
effect "'d" 'he Co/««i,W of April, 1915, to t'hi: 
effect. Ur Dazso of Budapest says the fourth 
generation of city-dwellers is unknown." ShoX 
afterward this statement was repeated in presence 
of some priests from England, who replkd "it 
s generally maintained that this is the ca e in 

fTnded if -^k'^",?^ '^"i' 8=""-li-ations be well 
founded, if It be really so that the millions of Cath- 
olic families flocking to our cities these days will 
have left no posterity in a little more than a hurt 
dred years from now, then certainly there is ample 
reason for our making every effort to keep good 

assure 'n/h?'' '" 'u' 'r.""^' f"^'her Graham 
assures us, however that "there is a goodly number 
of Catholics here [Baltimore] whose parents and 
grandparents and great-grandparents— and beyond 
—were born and raised right here." This informa- 
tion to be applicable to the theory proposed by 



t 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

exactly woudL'^n? /"'"^"^'"S '^'' description 
objection to furnishing i^ ?^''''" *^"''^'" ''='^'= «"y 

2. An assumption that the anonymous Sarpr^o. 
was a hobbv,st and shaped his statistCaccordiS?' 
•'iL ^'"^ i''l'"ge °". " priori grounds that the theorJ 
'CS,\Xt^y^ ''' Church" td^;°e1 

commen?"theliTH'' °^ these, need no further 
Is it refu'^inl M deserves serious examination. 
IS It refusing to recognize the power of Grace tn 

TTl '^^"Sr°"s associations? Let us suDDose 
ter'rih u' ^J'''"' Y^°'^ ^^'^ "^^^^ ontainedT 

heaven "aid f./"''" ""''" "]'" '^' '''"gdom o 
neaven, and let us suppose also that some expe- 

loO 



CITY LIFE 

rienced pastor of maturer years emphasised th^.^ 
very ,dea as a result of his own observation 'would 

"maT''^;°Vr":; t^^^ ''"^^ P^"*"' ^h" Vsuch a 
lu J-- ^"°"d the efficacy of grace," "imouffned 

£ed"u7o?heL;^•.'''"'•^^" -' ^'^erefr-C^ 

„KI^°'^ P^'"^ connected with a city parish, I was 

?ol^fim haT/h '" °PP-^"'''y of gai'ning tfirma! 
wh?l. I ''y my own personal efforts. Mean- 

while I commenced discussing the question with fd 
low clergymen, from any and every aunrt7r Jl^L" 

TtlaLTumT^'T'^ '° ""-'"^ con^sarn' 
DossihW? ""k'"''5''-,'T.''° ^""^ disposed to say "im- 

wen a^X!!?'n-f ''1'^'°"' '^"u^"" •'""^ °f who as 
iTrge city? P"'"'' ^"'= ''°'-" ^"^ «"«d i" a 

H^-'; ^t^ "^7 ^empJary families of adult aee 
do you know of who as well as their parents wefe 
born and reared ma large city or cities? 

quin. carried o'^f'*^""' *''" ^' ^ T""'* °f this in- 
r,ll!^ teamed on for over a year the only case re- 
called was that of a priest who with his pa^rents was 
born and reared m Greater New York This of 
course, does not demonstrate the non existence of 
such cases even in the very parishes adminTsered 
by the pnests mterrogated tsince very few pay any 

S to sh"ow th'T^h""'™"^'^""^ ^' ^'^)' but 'tVoel 
go to show that those pastors are not in a position 
to dismiss with the pronouncement "prepost^erous " 
187 ' 



It ,1 



l;i 



fcj. 



.! 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

a parish staff who tell us they gave ten years to an 
exhausfve inquiry into the de'talls of the^uestion 
Kepeated discussion furnished considerable in- 

ierf'".n!i°" 5""",« '""'■'^ ?■■ ^"« '^''•"tly on the sub- 
ject and ordinarily not taken much account of AI- 
low me here to subjoin some of this evidence. A 

fh,n h,lV\-" ^'V"" '"7 ""^^ '"^ that not more 
than half his people attended Mass on Sunday The 

foldmil T.°lT H'^l ^^"'"" "t'« was ready 
to admit ihat half of the married women of his 
congregation missed Mass habitually. A pas°or in 

midX^w ''r ^^'^ ^"""^""^ thousand souls in the 
middle West volunteered the information that his 
parish contained 1900 families of whom 700 families 
were practical Catholics. The large percentage of 
indifferent and fallen-away Catholfcs ?n the South- 
ern States, the small Sunday congregations so disap- 
pointing to a traveller in the South, are commonly 
accounted for by the dearth of priests in eTrlS 
years, the people being so widely scattered as to 
make it impossible for missionaries to reach them. 
1 his, however, does not explain the coldness and in- 
ditterence prevailing so extensively among those who 
profess to be Catholics in the cities of the South 
A prominent pastor from one of those citie. made 
this remark: ^"The South has little or no immigra- 
rTrl-,Z / "lu^ Catholicity is being constantly 
recruited from the country districts of old lands; 
our newcomers are mostly from the North, and 
our Catholic recruits, therefore, are mostly from 
>lorthern cities. Augustinus in the March issue 
^( Y}\l°':'"*9h'ly Review, speaking on the question 
J.?^^ ti" '" u'^Sf • '^^'s : "The statistics given by 
i'ather Muntsch show that in England and Wales 
188 



CITY LIFE 

more than a million souls have drifted away from 
the Church. The situation is no better, nay it is 
undoubtedly woKe, in this country. Only a short 

time ago Judge D of the Chicago Boys' Court, 

assured me that ten thousand delinquent boys are 
hailed before this tribunal annually and that seventy- 
one per cent of them are of Catholic parentage. 
1 verified the statement for myself by speaking to 
many of the boys in the court-room as well as in 
the lock-up. Most of them frankly admitted they 
were Catholic, but had neglected church and the 
Sacraments for years. A curate in an Eastern city 
of approximately six hundred thousand inhabitants 
told me he could hardly find a house in the parish 
without one or more apostates. We have been ac- 
customed tc, glory in our real and imaginary per- 
fections and to shut our eyes to defects. We have 
followed the advice of the professional "booster"; 
bell your hammer and buy a horn." 
Most American priests have something to say 
about Catholic immigrants. All bear witness to 
the fervor and faithfulness which characterize the 
great majority of those who come from Ireland, 
Foland, Ruthenia, Bavaria, and the Rhine provinces 
—that is to say, from districts where agricu'ture 
IS almost the exclusive occupation. What Euro- 
pean cities have the reputation among us of con- 
tributing large numbers of immigrants remarkable 
for the staunchness and fervor of their Catholicity? 
Evidently none. 

If it is really so, that one rarely meets an adult 
family of exemplary, devout Catholics (a family 
of at least four or five sons and daughters) who 
with their parents were born and reared in a large 
city, or cities, or if such cases are comparatively few 
189 



m 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

parents! as wefl L patents ~/cif"' ^""^- 

calculable. ^ residents for generations in- 

in Jl^eserv'ngfeiS" ""'^ ^J='','"- ^° ^"-""Plish 
limited iniuiry eaves ITa^ u' ^T^' '^'" ^ ^"/ 
ing our d%:„'derc:"on"°cott Tr'a •ni"^':r^"H'^ 

visited eigh^: i^Sr';';! n'S'ti "^^^ 
press purpose of asking the questTon "H ' "^ 

The iarae n,,Ii; r ■ °° ""' ''"ow of any." 

Staie ^/Yo'^a" Sse^Ca^S^ ''f'^'' A?- '^e 
rural) is in m\,;t.^ ."^ P?P"'^*'°n 's krgely 

smalVnlber fSshedT"'* ^'*>- *''^ ^'^"ningly 

^:3-?aS^^S^-^s;s^! 

190 



CITY LIFE 

ordination. Is it not very likely that this regula- 
tion, adopted, more or less generally, in some Euro- 
pean countries, had its origm in dioceses which had 
to depend on city boys to recruit the priesthood ? In 
any case .t is not the practice in Ireland or in several 
other countries where the livelihood of the majority 
of Catholics is obtained from the land. One Ameri- 
can bishop told me that his diocesan seminary was 
practically filled with native students of Bohemian 
and Polish extraction, while he had given up all 
hope of securing any English-speaking candidates 
trom within his territory; all this notwithstanding 
the fact that two-thirds of the parishes of the dio- 
cese were English-speaking. The explanation is 
thait the linglish-speaking parishes are in the cities 
and towns; while numerous colonies of Bohemian 
and Polish families are settled on the land The 
most thoroughly Catholic city north of the Mexican 
line IS certainly Montreal; nevertheless a Canadian 
bishop assured me that, if the archdiocese did not 
comprise an extensive country district, not more 
than one-third of the city parishes would be staffed 
Un the other hand, the diocese of Charlottetown 
in Canada, from an English-speaking population 
of 40,000, almost entirely rural, after equipping 
Itself and manning a very prosperous college, has 
more than forty priests in active service in the 
United States and is supplying the greater part of 
the English-speaking priests, now in constant de- 
mand, m the Canadian Northwest. From the same 
territory almost every religious community of women 
in the Western States and in the Canadian West 
IS securing postulants in goodly numbers. A story 
much the same is told by Canadian bishops in ref- 
erence to the dioceses of Antigonish and St. John's, 
191 



IL 



11 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

SyTktwJ" '°'' "' ^''^'^ "^ ''^^ - P- 

an^t?rhlr ""'fu ''u"- .'^'^^ ^'^"'•^h, the school, 
and the home are the three institutions which assume 
the respons,b,hty of fostering a religious spirit and 
preservm^ the faith among Catholic peo?le It 

^'^•r ^^l u' "H'^ religious to perform the part 
assigned to churches and schools: does the city or 
parent'/i'/n''Kr"^'. "'" «r'^!"g but limited num'ers 
home> tI -"^ conducting an ideal Christian 
.u A 1 L, "P'^ersal complaint of city pastors is 
he deplorable lack of home training and ^ardfan! 
ship so great that priests and teachers are obliged 
to attempt the fulfilment of important duties which 

Lem"'„ hr'""'-^ "'^"'^^ ^''^' "•"«= t™- we 
seem to be unanimous in the convicnon that united 
efforts of church and school cannot make up fo? he 
training neglected m the home. If therefore the 
city must look to country districts for a supply ,.f 
priests and for the religious who are to condua t e 
parish schools, academies, and colleges, a fortiori 
must It look to the country to supply h great meas 

Zm ' h^'r '• " °^ P?""^"*^ "P^ble of inspiring a 
thorough rel-.gious spirit in the home. i' "B a 

An extended summer vacation, at length, nro- 
vided the long looked-for opportunity of i^qSir^ 
regarding the individual members of some citXr^ 
ish Visiting the rector of a cathedral whose as- 
sistants were engaged taking a census, I brgged the 
privilege of canvassing a district. With a few 
additional columns in the census note-book threl 
weeks were spent going from door to door, and 
without any hint being given of the purpoae in 
view, each evening the rector was requested to pro- 
192 



CITY LIFE 

nounce as "good,;' "bad," or "indifferent," the 
several families visted during the day. Of the 
families rated "good," which constituted more than 
t,vo.thirds of the congregation, by far the greater 
number of parents had spent their childhood in 
country parishes or country towns; a considerable 
number had been city residents all their lives- not 
one case was found m which both parents, as 'well 
as their parents in turn, were of city rearing The 
class denominated "indifferent" furnished histories 
almost as varied as the individuals composing if 
country, city, town, each had made itr contribution 
while mixed marriages, orphanages, years spent 
where church attendance was impossible, with the 
consequent privation of religious instruction, w-e 
everywhere in evidence as undermining iiiHuences. 
Ihirteen families were branded as "had" or "hope- 
less. In one case both parents were from the 
country; in another both parents were from a town- 
in two others the fathers were from the country, the 
mother from the city; in nine both parents were of 
city rearing. 

Some weeks later a small city parish became per- 
manently vacated through the illness of the pastor 
At the time the diocese was straitened to meet the 
people s needs, and I yielded to the bishop's request 
and spent the remainder of the summer there. The 
engagement has made it possible to learn the his- 
tory of sixty-nine families. Six, while professing 
L!:tholicity, are to all intents and purposes lost to 
the faith. Dublin, Edinburgh, Mu...h;3ter, two 
American cities, and a lengthy residence in the 
West, far removed from Church and Catholic asso- 
ciations, divide the responsibility. Some who are 
practical and attentive owe their allegiance to cities 
193 



mil- 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

thi» side of the Atlantic; a few others speak of 
schooldays spent in European cities, fiut the 
sohdly devout and exemplary, the real pillars of 
the church, father and mother alike, have come 
from country parishes. Up to the present I have 
not met among the regular attendants any case in 
which the father or mother as well as their parents 
grew up in a large city or cities. 

The details I have furnished in this article are 
probably wearying: I have come to think this ques-. 
tion IS deserving of minute examination. 

Spectator. 



m 



194 



CHAPTER XII 

How Oi R Clkrgv Ari: Recriutkd 

A T a recent clerical gathering, one of the number 
* *■ PrpPt^sed this rather extraordinary question, 
How IS It that parishes with schools conducted 
by religious teachers furnish few or no candidates 
for the priesthood ?" x he protest almost universal 
which arose, as it were instinctively, was met by a 
review of the situation in our own diocese, the facts 
aoduced being in almost perfect accord witi, the 
firs' speakers contention. Various attempts to 
explain the paradox were then forthcoming, each 
in turn falling to the ground, as instance after 
instance was cited in flat contradiction of the theory 
advanced, until at length a voice from down the 
table suggested: "The whole matter is perfectly 
clear. Parochial schools and religious teachers 
are mostly in the cities and larger towns of the dio- 
ceses. We need never expect to recruit our ranks 
from those sources." Another citation of cases 
followed; such contrasts as that of a country parish 
of only four hundred souls, with no parish school, 
having thirteen priests in actual service in the dio- 
cese, and city parishes of four thousand souls but 
having no native priests, seemed to lend some con- 
firmation to the view. One remarkable piece of 
evidence was of a city pastor, well known to all 
present and known as a man truly zealous in every- 
thing, who had made every conceivable sacrifice to 
foster vocations to the priestho'^ ' ^o had evinced 
195 



I 5 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

aged to continue their .tudies, and who reported that 
from th.rty.four boys sent from hi, parish to the di" 
cesan college the total result was one priest 

ine discussion had grown in interest. Some of us 
Ost7"th.'fi'° 'K««"' o^ going over the Zcesan 
list,, the figures m which revealed that over eighty 

rurnl ,l.°h„ l''"^if?T '''"" ?"'»>>" distinctly 
rural, although two-thirds of the Catholic popu- 
lation are located m cities and towns. The rector 
^tJ,^ »l'°."fu" "'"'""y «'" ne« consulted. He 

attlnln/ehn^l""^""''*''' °^ 'H ""«^«"»« '" """^l 

attendance had grown up on the farm. Some of 
the priest, interested m the inquiry enjoyed a fa- 
miliar acquaintance with conditions in two ot! ■ 
diocese, the titular cities of which have a Catholic 
population of about 50.000 and 2J0.000 ",pic' 

IZ^\ J''' ^°""'5. "^ '*•"« has furni tKir- 

teen of the present diocesan clergy, the la. • sixty. 
iLw '"^"f'K«*'°" n° effort was made to a ertafn 
the birthplace; each priest was accredited o the 
parish in which his family resided at the time of 
hi, e„:enng college. The'highest result, the Tfore 
he,e two cities can c aim. is one priest from ever; 
four thousand Catholics; each nine hundred fami- 
lies furnishe, one recruit to the i.unistry. 

Since that time, with the aid of the Ecclesiastical 
Directory a.id census publications, we have en- 
deavored to learn in what proportion city and 
country parishes in the United States are respec- 
tively contributing to the starts of diocesan clerKv 
No account has been taken of the regular derev' 
whose location in a diocese gives no clue, of course.' 
to their place of birth . r training. Paper infor' 
mation 1, at best second-class authority. The state- 
196 



RECRUITING OUR CLERGY 

menti we venture to make with the information at 
our disposal any reader can revise with accuracy, 
at least as far as his own diocese is concerned. 
Ihe mquiry did not extend to the newer or scat- 
tered dioceses of the West and South, conditions 
there ud to the present time having been such as 
to preclude the possibility of recruiting a native 
Clergy, ihe line of division aims at separating 
rural districts and smaller towns from larger towns 
and cities. In some cases it was impossible to ascer- 
tain the exact population of towns under considera- 
tion, and we agreed to class all towns having two or 
more parishes with the larger. 

The following tables record the result : 



Kami or Diocisi 



Baltimore . , 

Botton 

Chicago . . . , 
'Cincinnati . . 
Dubuque . . , 
Milwaukee . 
New York . . 
Philadelphia 
St. Louii , . . 
St. Paul ... 

Albany 

Alton 

Altoona . . , . 
Belleville .. 
Brooklyn . . . 

Buffalo 

Burlington . 
Cleveland .. 
ColumbuB . , 



Catholic Popu- 
lation FuaNisH- 
INO One Dioc- 
ISAN Priest 



Number or Parishes 




In Smaller 
In Cities ITownsand 
AVDLAROEr. Country 
Towns Places 



84 


<o 


l<« 


81 


a73 


58 


90 


91 


22 


150 


no 


114 


»38 


74 


197 


8a 


107 


'34 


73 


«33 


73 


63 


33 


84 


40 


47 


«9 


81 


140 


75 


107 


83 


18 


86 


130 


34 


38 


58 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 



Naue of Diocese 



Catholic Popu- 
lation FUURNISH- 
ING One Dioc- 
esan Priest 



Covington . , . 

Davenport . . . 

Des Moines . . 

Detroit 

Erie 

Fall River . . . 

Fort Wayne . 

Grand Rapids 

Green Bay . . . 

Harrisburg . . 

Hartford 

Indianapolis . 

Kansas City . 
Leavenworth . 

La Crosse . . . 

Louisville . . . 
Manchester . . 

Newark 

Ogdensburg . , 

Omaha 

Peoria 

Pittsburgh 

Portland 

Providence . . . 
Richmond . . . . 

Rochester 

Rockford 

St Cloud 

St. Joseph . . . . 

Scranton 

Sioux City 

Springfield . . . 

Syracuse 

Toledo 

Trenton 

Wheeling 

Wilmington . . 
Winona 



880 

450 

480 

1,540 

900 

1,360 

720 

1,060 

8<o 

900 

1,450 

790 

830 

690 

690 

880 

1,025 

1,600 

750 

550 

640 

1,300 

1,050 

',350 

720 

800 
530 
700 

640 
1,060 

500 

1,000 

1,080 

930 

940 

700 

1,000 

530 



Number of Parishes 



In Cities 

|and Larger 

Towns 



Towns and 

In Smaller 

Country 

Places 



21 


38 


29 


«3 


12 


45 


72 


98 


40 


66 


59 


15 


62 


68 


52 


5« 


45 


111 


38 


41 


110 


85 


41 


101 


37 


39 


29 


64 


31 


113 


48 


61 


34 


43 


140 


57 


'5 


78 


*7 


83 


66 


90 




107 


24 


57 


64 


»9 


16 


21 


52 


57 


24 


48 


16 


81 


'S 


38 


80 


95 


22 


83 


87 


93 


52 


4' 


37 


56 


63 


71 


17 


48 


11 


•9 


10 


71 



198 



RECRUITING OUR CLERGY 

nr;«w recognize the time-honored standard— one 
priest for a thousand souls— it will be observed 
that the supply decreases the greater the proportion 
of the city parishes. This holds, with few excep" 
tions, throughout the dearth being especially no- 
table in dioceses whose Catholic population is over- 
whelmingly urban. Such are Chicago, New York 
Boston Newark, Philadelphia, Brooklyn. On the 
other hand, dioceses in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, or 
Wisconsin, where country parishes predominate and 
the large city is almost unknown, approach the 
Morenv'^ °f ^ Pnest for every five hundred souls. 
Moreover most dioceses with large city populations 
have been regularly adopting candidates for the 

Tow! w'^ ^'■°!" '^'°''^- ^^' '^""'^^'•y obtains in 
Iowa, Wisconsin, etc. 

In examining the other forces which contribute 
to providing the diocesan clergy, it is worthy of 

Pl!ilJf V 'V«°'','^' Brooklyn,^Boston, Baltimore 
Philadelphia, Buffalo, Newark, have had for years 
their own preparatory colleges and ecclesiastical 
seminaries It is interesting also to contrast, for 
example, Cleveland and Dubuque, which respec- 
tively enjoy the advantage of a college and seminary 
conducted by their own diocesan clergy. The con- 
trast may also be instituted between Rochester and 
Philadelphia, or Rochester and Buffalo. Or we 
might examine Buffalo, provided with a seminary 
for 'generations, side by side with Erie, which has 

r»"^'r ^ ^^"""^T nor preparatory college. 
_ Or, if we are to believe that location, surround- 
ings, climate, exert an influence in the matter, it 
might be wel to compare Chicago with the other 
dioceses m Illinois, Harrisburg with Philadelphia, 
Wheeling with Pittsburgh, Columbus and Toledo 
with Cleveland. 

199 



nt 



CHAPTER XIII 

Importance of Rural Parishes 

unwarranted diffidence 

tJOWEVER much contributors may differ about 
f- * the extent to which Faith is imperiled by resi- 
dence m a large city, no one regrets the presence 
of large numbers of our Catholic people in country 
parishes The protection afforded there is mani- 
fest. Ihat the city has dangers for many, if not 
for all, IS undisputed. True, sixty years ago, so 
great a prelate as the late Archbishop Hughes for 
a time resisted the advocacy of locating Catholic 
immigrants on the land. But the experience of 
two generations since has so thoroughly taught an- 
other lesson that it is doubtful if even one among 
our hierarchy would not enter enthusiastically intS 
any project looking to the enlargement of the rural 
popu ation at the sacrifice of members in the city 
parishes. ■' 

. But while this community of sentiment prevails 
in reference to the general aspect of the question, 
there lurks in the minds of many of our clergy a 
certain diffidence of accomplishing anything by ef- 
forts in that direction. "You cannot resist the 
most vigorous tendency of the hour," is the com- 
mon reply. 'We are living in an age," they say, 
where great masses of the population from all 
200 






RURAL PARISHES 

cities there are a thousand reasons for their doinir 
o almost every consideration leads them there 

selve tVh '°° '-"I ^"^' ^'f°'' resigning our- 
selves to the inevitable approach of a greaf evil 
might not It be well to ask: "Have we tried?" 

her7i7one^i;P' '° ''^ t""''''^ " Zulfu 
t/e^ -(T ^^-"^ "'°'^ *''='" "another to be con- 

^iven L ,^- ''"'^ ""^ "O attention we have 

whTch all'^a'^e 7^ ' r"'^'''°"' "'^ existence of 
wncft all are disposed to consider regrettable 

d^ci'Z'/p*" ""'^"^ °^ ^''^ ""'»' devot^ed Cath: 

le sness w'.°'" ""^'^ T"'- "T '^"^ '" ^^elr help- 
lessness. We made heroic efforts to jrive them 

dKro^:,."' """'^-'"^ '"^'^^ FahhTmid th" 
oangers of our great cities; on y rarely has anv 

thing been done to place them where ^hose dan- 
gers did not obtain. Had a modicum of the effort 
and outlay required to establish a.U maintain 
parish schools for constant accessions of poor im" 
migrants been expended on locating them in groups 
upon the land, no on o-day would look back iZ, 

atisTaction ^'*AT^'-'"g but feelings of the deepest 
d, ' H f Had anyone a hundred years ago 

dared to promise that our parish school system in 

eCufir" '^' ''"^'.""'" '° >"= encountered Tould 
eventually assume the proportions we wifcss in its 
attainments to-day, he should certainly have been 
regarded as a misguided visionary. Are a people 
and a clergy with such a record t^faint in prLence 
of this other great undertaking, an undertaking 
which ,s constantly revealing itsdf as one of he 
great works of zeal m the not too distant future? 

20I 



1^ ii 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

What wonderful organizations may soon come into 
existence insjpired by the purpose of acquiring land 
tor the children of the Faith, only the prophet can 
at this stage depict. Meanwhile, the modest ef- 
forts of certain pastors and religious societies have 
accomplished much already. 

INFLUENCES ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE 
DEPLETION OF COUNTRY DISTRICTS 

Generally speaking. Catholics m relation to this 
endeavor may be classed under three heads city 
residents in America, country residents in Amer- 
ica, and immigrants from the old world. Until 
our social fabrit undergoes some very extraordinary 
upheaval, we may as well set the first of these out- 
side our calculations altogether. The young man 
of city rearing who will reconcile himself to coun- 
try occupations and country habits of life is so decid- 
edly exceptional as to be quite excluded from our 
plans. Of all in the past who reached maturity in 
the city, the number who voluntarily submitted to 
country life under any circumstances is not far re- 
moved from a minus quantity. 

Of the second class, our American farm popula- 
tion, the great majority are contented with their 
lot, and would stay where they are. But ten thou- 
sand external influences have lieen at work to turn 
them from their present calling and scarcely one to 
continue them in it. Many intrinsic causes also 
contribute, such as higher wages, ligher work or 
shorter hours, places of amusement, etc. Even 
these would prove ineffective, did not the moral 
forces with which they come in contact operate in 
bringing about the «ame result. 

202 



RURAL PARISHES 

The school system of the country is aimed di- 
rectly at this. It has been the boast of legislators 
and supervisors of educational interests that the 
program of primary schools was framed to con- 
auct pupils by the most direct route to the high 
school, and similarly that every subject prescribed 
tor high school work looked primarily to the stu- 
dents future in the university or in some learned 
profession. It has been in every way to the in- 
terest of both primary and secondary school 
teachers to have the number entering a more ad- 
vanced institution as large as possible. Their in- 
Huence has been altogether in the direction of 
keeping the boy or girl at school, and by conse- 
quence, taking them from the farm. It is very 
flattering to the good father and mother to hear 
trom the teacher, "Your boy is doing particularly 
well; his ability is much above the average; it is 
too bad not to give him a chance." Consequently, 
though very much needed at home they try to keep 
him at school, and one more is taken away from the 
prospect of being a country resident. What the 
regularly established schools of the State fail to 
accomplish, something called "business colleges," 
hanging out a sign in every little town, contrive to 
ettect. 

Everyone in the neighborhood whose opinion 
both child and parents are disposed to respect, 
commends the course and commends it highly. 
Ihe local clergyman, physician, attorney, banker, 
editor, politician and other distinguished visitors 
to the home all agree in this. With nothing very 
dehnite in their promises, they spoke to the boy of 
a bnlhunt future, and praised parents who made 
such n-ble efforts to advance the future of their 
203 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

family The atmosphere of the high school was 
charged with this sentiment and with none other. 
1 he press of the land, public platforms, pulpits and 
similar oracles referred with pride to the large 
numbers our school system was advancing in the 
higher walks of life. The family were convinced 
beyond a shadow of doubt that wisdom lay in 
^fP'"ng to professional and business careers and 
abandoning the more menial and less promising 
future that a rural district could provide. 

Now, do we ever stop to reflect what would have 
been the issue if all this glorious array of forces 
had been faced in the opposite direction? What 
would have happened if schools, teachers, clergy, 
physicians, editors, etc.— throughout the land ener- 
gized every conceivable effort in the endeavor to 
keep the young people of rural districts upon the 
farm? Are we quite sure that the cause of civil 
government, and civil society, would have been 
jeopardized? 






OUR CONTRIBUTION TO THESE INFLUENCES 

While all this was going on, where were we? 
On what side were we throwing our weight? 
Have there been any more ardent supporters of 
the "make something of yourself" cry than we? 
Have we not actually boasted over and over again, 
in public and private pronouncements, that we 
were foremost in every phase of this movement? 

Our clergy everywhere encourage boys and girls 
to continue at school, altogether regardless of the 
consideration that continuing at school generally 
means continuing on the way to an avocation the 
following up of which is not possible in country dis- 
204 



RURAL PARISHES 

tricts, regardless also of the further consideration 

ilL ^'°Z'"^ '"^TV. '" '^•2'^" studies is usually 
accompamed by a declininfe interest in occupations 
and ambitions which attencTlife on the farm The 
multiplication of Catholic colleges, by their verv 
existence not to speak of their conscious, intend 
tional efforts in that direction, stands out before 
parents in rural surroundings as a recommendation 
^L J'.^'^f advantages such institutions are sup- 
posed to offer. Editors of Catholic weeklies seem 
to live in constant dread of the charge of unpro- 
gressiveness, did they not put forth, their best ef- 
torts in urgmg higher education for the greatest 
possible number everywhere. Just previous to 
school opening this year an editorial in an influential 
catholic paper began with these words "Schools 
open next week; every Catholic high school and 
college in the land should be filled to the utmost 
capacity. Have we an organ in the English- 
speaking world persistently daring to have no part 
in those clamors for the extension of higher educa- 
tion at the inevitable price of rural populations 
being depleted? A few years ago the Catholic 
representative of an Irish constituency told the 
British House of Commons that he cared little for 
this much-lauded commodity which they presumed 
to call education," recognizing, as he did, that 
there was something of infinitely greater impor- 
tance. True, such a remark coming from one of 
his attainments shocked this twentieth-century 
world. Yet would it not be wholesome to hear 
sometimes our Catholic editors announce the plain 
truth, that much of this uncompromising advocacy 
of learning and the incessant urging upon everyone 
to become a scholar is merely the worship of a 
205 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

fetish; or that much of the present-day enthusiasm 
for erecting, maintaining, patronizing great educa- 
tional institutions is a poor substitute for satisfying 
the one worthy object of human aspiration, and 
that we who recognize the one thing necessary feel 
under no obligation to imitate their blind though 
strenuous ambitions; that, consequently, preserving 
a peasant population, though more or less illiter- 
ate, in the simple exercise of true Faith is an ob- 
ject much more to be sought after than providing 
mcreasing numbers with intellectual endowments? 



MEANS OF PREVENTING THE DEPLETION 

Now, 1 . us suppose what would be the result 
if the entire force of the Catholic Church in Amer- 
ica, throughout the different means at its disposal, 
were contributing to the cause of keeping Catholics 
in the country — contributing just to the extent to 
which such a condition is desirable, no further. 
Or rather, before abondoning the idea altogether, 
would it not be well to inquire if it is really so that 
the forces of Catholicity in our midst are hope- 
lessly and absolutely without weight in this matter; 
if there is no person or no source of influence among 
us capable of guiding in an issue upon which the 
eternal salvation of many souls so largely depends? 

In the first place, what about che rural pastor? 
Does anyone suppose that a priest so situated, con- 
vinced of the importance of this work, enjoying 
the confidence of his people, with all the opportuni- 
ties at his disposal, in the pulpit, in the school or 
home, could fail, in the course of twenty, ten or 
even five years to be instrumental in restraining 
many — both old and young — who otherwise would 
206 



RURAL PARISHES 

have yielded to the allurements and the thousand 
circumstances helping on this perpetual drift city- 
ward? Then, there is the Mission, which in our 
day reaches every parish, and from which so many 
wholesome, consoling results are everywhere re- 
ported. If It were the practice of missionaries in 
each parish to devote one entire conference to this 
subject, should we not expect the faithful during 
those days, when they come to understand how 
trival are all worldly interests and attachments 
when weighed in the balance against an eternal 
kingdom on the one hand and eternal suffering on 
the other, would stand in horror of any fascination 
calculated to endanger their own or their children's 
tuture, and willingly reconcile themselves to the 
less invitit^ conditions attending their present sit- 

"u''°ij L '"°" "^^ ''^'"'^ of this the more we 

should be astonished that missionary bands have 
up to the present paid so little attention to what 
everyone within or without the Church considers 
the growing evil of our day. 

What of our Catholic schools? Their number 
in rural districts is constantly on the increase. We 
are proud of their efficiency, of the results they 
give. We know there a-e many pupils completing 
their early studies there who give a good account 
of themselves in schools and institutions more ad- 
vanced. This is what we hear everywhere and 
unintermittingly. We have every reason to hope, 
therefore, that schools and teachers capable of 
such results could exert an untold influence, were 
their attention turned to pointing out, in season 
and out of season, how much the interest of im- 
mortal souls is safeguarded by continuing in the 
country far removed from the vanity and world- 
207 



i 



rati 



:;^l 



; I ■■! 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

liness, the frivolity and distraction, the pleasure- 
seeking and dissipation, the temptations and tins, 
so easily to be met with in large cities. With the 
young children of the land growing up in this con- 
dition, accepting such teaching in much the same 
spirit as they accept unceasing warnings against the 
dangers of pub ic schools, mixed marriages, secret 
societies, the liquor traffic, etc.— their after-lives 
would, no doubt, be governed by an equal regard 
tor all early impressions so received. I have never 
heard of a parish school attempting to exert ii:- 
Huence m this direction even in the slightest de. ree 
1 know of many that are constantly holding out to 
their pupils a brilliant future in the learned pro- 
;hf!'°»v°!; ''"'J"«?^">-eers. So long as we allow 
this attitude of mind to prevail in our primary in- 
stitutions we are hardly justified in pleading the 
impossibility of doing anything to keep Catholic 
people in the country. We might (;o on trying to 
conceive the possibilities of our position, did our 
colleges, academies and seminaries unite in this 
propaganda. The supposition that any such action 
could be hoped for may be visionary in the ex- 
treme; the outcome, should such action ever be- 
come a reality, no one will consider even doub'-ful 
JNowhere do Catholic papers find readers so de- 
voted and faithful as in rural Catholic homes. 
Here the spirit of criticism is almost unknown. 
Ihis weekly visitor is given lengthy entertainment; 
its statements are accepted without question, and 
in the families of long-term subscribers there are 
tew, old or young, who do not sooner or later 
drink in its words. Sometimes when I read in the 
columns of these journals reiterated appeals for 
the support of the Catholic press, I wonder if their 
208 



RURAL PARISHES 

editors realize how many faithful disciples thev 

-£.a^^^its^^eP'?feZtl^"3 

make"L''r; *''°". ?°"^'^"°"^ more thofoughry 
C^„ ■.? u'"'"'^ °^ literature altogether in keen 
ng with the a.ms of a Catholic Vper Week 
after week their pages decry the public school 
tenL'cror'.'^ '^""'"g' =««»'"" the^demoraSg 
tendency of theatres and gambline rooms the !r 
religious and often licentious atmospherT'of wha; 

Wm''^ 1°"'"^'" '^' ever-increasing force ot 
Socialism, the outward trend of divorce- thev see 
wih certainty that many children of the Surch 

fo get' thaT o'ne 7^ '" '""^ ■'"''■ «"^ ^^ey seem o 
r.rw n • °"^ '"8;e section of her children are 

consequently, the most effective means of nrotprt 
■ng .still greater numbers can b^Tound in^ main 
taming as many of the faithful as possiMe TmTd" 
conditions which more than all o hers guaran^« 

IS tnreatened with demoralization from the in- 

or eveVfron"""^«'='-'^'T"' -^^ -^^^ '-• 
or even from the more insid ous influences of 

Wt trrVhr?^^'""-"^!!'"^^ -'I dissipation 
vvny then throw up our hands in despair? VVhv 
exclaim that all efforts to keep our people in the 
cou -^y must necessarily prove futile, when we 

task's^n "P;°. '^' P^'"^"^' --equi^itioned o the 
task so powerful an engine as the Catholic press 
209 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

FINANCING THE IMMIGRANT 

The other possibility— that of settling Catholic 
immigrants on the land — is a great work, scarcely 
begun yet. Undertakings so complex require time 
and organization. Failures in the past should 
give no cause for discouragement: they are merely 
necessary steps in a necessary experience. When 
wc hear what has been accomplished in the Argen- 
tine or even in some parts of Western Canada, we 
begin to realize what the outlook is nearer home. 
We can picture a future in which hundreds of thou- 
sands of Europeans, adapted to farming occupa- 
tions from youth, will be able to carry on in North 
America the occupations in which their parents 
and grandparents for generations gave such splen- 
did examples of persevering Faith. Soon this may 
e u S'"}'''^'^'* 8'"^atest work of zeu' on this side 
of the Atlantic. Immense sums of money, it is 
true, would be necessary to float a/ scheme whose 
dimensions have still to be calculated. Our 
wealthier Catholics come to understand that col- 
leges, academies and schools have a claim on their 
surpluses and some have responded generously. 
Would not the gifts enabling Catholic immigrants 
*° K" a start on a farm advance the cause of Christ 
and Holy Church in an even more desirable way? 



210 



CHAPTER XIV 

LANGUAGES IN PREPARATORY SEMINARIES 

T^HE question whether or not the course of 
* studies that we have followed with little 
deviation for generations gives the best possible 
results under present conditions, has been discussed 
at educational conventions of late, and answered in 
various ways. It will not be amiss to offer some 
further suggestions. 

It may T)e presumed at the outset that the pur- 
pose of a preparatory seminary is chiefly three- 
fold: (I) to give tlie student at least the founda- 
tion of a hberal education; (2) to carry him 
through such branches as are necessary to the pros- 
ecution of his studies in philosophy and theology; 
(3) to carry on, as far as it is possible at that stage, 
the work of equipping him for the practical duties 
ot the ministry. While the curriculum of the 
higher seminary is concerned almost exclusively 
with the technical studies required by his sacred 
calling, the years leading up to it are devoted to 
what we are wont to regard as general education, 
tven though we insist that in those early years the 
practical is secondary, that formation must dictate 
the character of the work to be pursued, we cap 
surely agree upon the advisability of combining 
the two whenever possible, and thereby giving pref- 
erence to any branch of study of real practical 
211 



" I' 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

value, provided it can be used with equal force as 
an instrument of intellectual development. 

Suppose we take one more look at the time- 
honored place of college studies from this point 
ot view. At no time in history has the Church of 
any country been face to face with the problems 
which confront us in America and which arise 
trom the multiplicity of languages spoken by the 
faithful here. There are pastors in this country 
who in order to provide for the spiritual wants of 
all the people within the limits of a single parish, 
would need to hear con<^essions in fourteen or 
fifteen different tongues. The impossibility of 
meeting the situation must mean incalculable loss to 
the cause of God and immortal souls. 

Then it must be remembered that many thou- 
sands of those whom we call foreigners come here 
possessed of a simple, earnest faith and need only 
the opportunity to persevere in it with fervor. 
Very often this opportunity cannot be given them 
IV or was it always necessary that they should be 
given priests of deep and varied learning, of busi- 
ness capacity, of tact, of vigo^rous influence; any 
priest in good standing speaking their language 
could easily be instrumental in saving hundreds 
from error or negligence. From the point of view 
of tangible results is there anything in the program 
of preparatory seminaries deserving more ureent 
attention than this? The time which a college boy 
has been required to spend on Greek alone should 
sufftce to give him a highly serviceable acquaintance 
with at least two modern languages. 

Allow me to say in passing that there seems to 
be something radically wrong from the outstart in 
our method of teaching the modern living lan- 

212 



PREPARATORY STUDIES 

pages. '1 12 case L i'most unknown of a pupil 
learning to ipt ak a iar. -uage in one of our colleges. 
We accept tins cont ition as inevitable. There 
are schools cveryw.ic.-e pursuing different systems 
in this line of endeavor and giving results in one- 
tourth the time we devote to these branches. Stu- 
dents of average ability in our colleges, many of 
them of more than average ability, attend classes 
in i<rench or German three, four or five years, and 
at the end not only make no pretence of speaking 
the language, but never dream of attempting a 
letter to a French or German friend, nor imagine 
they should read a P>ench or German newspaper 
with facility. To get through a certain number 
ot grammar exercise and translate a page or per- 
haps a paragraph or two for each successive class 
usually measures the extent of their achievement 
A straight case of failure to accomplish because of 
railure to attempt. 

Unpardonably radical as it may seem, I shall 
dare propose doing away with Greek in order to 
give place for the study of such foreign languages 
as would be of practical service in the ministry. 
Hundreds, thousands of our clergy have distinct 
recollections of a laborious if not distasteful and 
uninteresting apprenticeship struggling with ttttto, 
or A.,™ or Homeric dialects. What benefit from it 
all? In what way does it serve them in afterlife? 
1 he treasures awaiting them, stored up in the rich- 
est literature civilization has known, they never 
reach, of course. How many priests ever open a 
Creek author after Rhetoric year? Now and then 
we meet one who does and he is usually in the same 
class with the one we remember to have conjugated 
the three voices of Av«, without a halt and had all 
213 



t (fl 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

the exceptions in the third declension on the tip of 

his tongue: they both go through li/e bookv.orms. 

VVhy continue this intolerable farce in our college 

Z°.luA fS •'., 1°T°"^ '^^y say. "this is the 
method of drill which makes a man, gives him steadi- 
ness of habits, tries his patience, stimulates determin- 
ation, makes him industrious, improves his memory," 
etc etc. Very true; but could not all these results 
be obtained in the acquisition of Polish, or Hungar- 
ian, or Rumanian? Does a language cease to have 
an educative value just because it will be useful in 
after life? Or does the farm-boy's race after the 
cows not develop his muscles as surely as the time 
spent on a quartermile track in the gymnasium? 

Again, It is argued that Catholic institutions must 
continue the study of Greek because of the service 
it renders to the study of Sacred Scripture. In this 
respect It IS of equal importance with Hebrew and 
byro-Chaldaic and is entitled to the same attention. 
Ihere will always be a goodly number looking to 
university degrees, post-graduate courses, and a life 
ot study, to whom we may safely entrust both the in- 
terpretation and preservation of the original and 
traditional publications of the Sacred Text 

But, says your professor who has learned to 
love Homeric metres and is quite sure that Plato's 
phi ospphical tenets are understood only in the orig- 
inal, we could not think of leaving out Greek; you 
know we have always had it." Precisely; sentiment 
must have Its place. Do not ask us to be guided by 
results. Just let us continue in the blissful enjov- 
ment of the past. Seriously, I should like to ask our 
professor friend is there not always a danger of im- 
posing upon the pupils the very subjects in which we 
are personally interested, altogether forgetful of 
214 



PREPARATORY STUDIES 

what it is that the pupil really needs. In one univer- 
sity of my acquaintance the president was a classical 
scholar and for some years had made a specialty of 
Latm and Greek epigraphy. Soon after his appoint- 
ment epigraphy became a compulsory subject in the 
department of classics. His successor, who was at 
the same time professor of History, was writing 
books on archeology. Very soon epigraphy dis- 
appeared from the curriculum; but thereafter stu- 
dents who wished to make a special study of His- 
tory found nearly all their time given over to ar- 
cheology and ethnology. And with similar instincts 
the Catholic professor of classics is disposed to argue 
that Greek was on the curriculum of colleges every- 
where years before he was born; that the most 
learned men we have ever known were Greek 
scholars, and we ourselves enjoy Greek immensely — 
why then ask us to consider the results which all 
this ) . ' Why distract us in our blissful and 
peacci ' e? 

Are ^ c naving adequate return for the time spent 
on Latin ? Ordinarily it may be maintained that the 
seminarian who can use his text books in philosophy 
and theology to advantage and follow his class work 
during those six years has a familiarity with Latin 
quite sufficient for all the practical purposes of after- 
life. When the preparatory institution has given 
him the capacity to read his seminary text books 
readily, its duty toward this branch of study may be 
considered fulfilled. Experience has taught us that 
in many cases something less is the actual result. 
When It is remembered that more than one-fourth of 
the time for six long years of a college course is 
given to Latin, one is tempted to suggest that there 
must be something visionary in the aspirations which 
215 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 
govern the method of dealing with it. Why not 
assistants of the twentieth renf/ry will pass the^ 

Llvrai^H'"'"","'"/.'" '^^ 1''""?' beauties o 
Uvy and Horace? If such has obtained any- 

nroZ\°\u' ?"^ *""' "J T*^" P^^'- ^hat has been the 
profi tto the interests of Holy Church ? Should any 
of our clergy have time or inclination for Latin liter- 
ature why should it be absorbed in familiar zng 

FeTlt" T^ '^'- '■''''^"'S' °^ P^S^" authors! 
rln . -r' ^^° ="-\K'vng our lives to college duties 
can easily escape the rebuke which th- lati Canon 

?nnf'" kP"1' '" "]?. '"°"'f' °f Geoffrey Austin 
Looking back over life, his keen regret was not to 
have been introduced in college to the works of the 
nfllfv? ^"f"^'/° t^e exclusion, at least in part, 
of the literature of ancient Greece and Rome 

Jtyery year and every week we spend a large pro- 
Dro e °A °."//'"'' '"'''■"S the class to write Latin 
sarv «nJ 1, "■ ''"'°T °^ 'his is strictly neces- 
ZtrT \ !"., earlier years. Without that 
rather thorough drill provided for in more elemen- 

f^^Jlf •. "^'I'^Py.'*"^^"*" ^""I'J not acquire due 
familiarity with the details of Latin syntax and id- 

nfU. °f '""''^ Pf-^P^^e neglecting this. But 
of what value are all those exercises in Latin 
composition adhered to so scrupulously until the 
very last hour of a classical course? kow much 

Iv'^r^M ""'*'"' "V'^""* ^^'"ed in any respect 
by those themes two or three or four times weekly? 
What power do they give him? What culture do 
they give h.m? You say he learns to write Latin 
-and if so, what of ,t? What use does a priest 
make of this accomplishment? One in twenty may 
be called upon to write a Latin letter or a Latin 
216 



PREPARATORY STUDIES 

document at rare intervals; one in a thousand must 
do so frequently; and to provide for such contin- 
gencies every student in a preparatory college or 

htth of h.s time for hve or six years. As a mrtter 
of fact those priests who havt acquired a facility 
in writing or speaking Latin owe it not to p a^^ 
graphs worked out in imitation of passages from 

and'7h.°1 ^'^^■' ''"'u-V° V^^ ^'•'•»^« '" PhilosophT 
and theology in which Latin was the language 
spoken. It IS very important that the ecclesias 
tical student should read Latin readily at the ^^d 
of his preparatory course. Reading power is the 

"^aKu- ^! i''-"""}'^ '" ^ I'=>f'" course; let us under! 
stand this definitely; ability to read Latin, not abHity 
o write It, IS what will be of practieaf value, and 
this object IS served but very^ feebly by an un- 
ending round of such exercises in Latin prose 
composition. F'"»c 

It will be contended, perhaps, that writing Latin 
should continue to receive a great deal of attention 
because of the mental culture acquired thereby Are 
we quite sure of this? What form of culture doe' 
this tiaining impart? It calls for very little exer- 
cise of the reasoning faculties. Many a student 
stands first in ,- Latin composition test who could 
never in a lifetime grasp Euclid's demonstration of 
the cruth that "the angles at the base of an isosceles 
tr- gle are equal to one another." Many a stu- 
dent has carried off the prize in Latin composition 
who lacked reasoning power sufficient to follow the 
argument in Cicero's Pro Milone. Writing a pre- 
sentable Latin paragraph or essay does not call for 
any intellectual effort; it is, in the main, a matter of 
memory and imitation. What type of character 
217 



.-■ff 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

?h?nlw'' =». .training develop? A man who never 
thinks for himself, because he has become habitu- 

^nt ?»,''"!," ^ °'.^'" '^° '''*'• *>'» f"""ion being to 
^If/f"^ '^° '"'^ '^y- '* ;"'f the product to be ex- 
memnr,^°"!4'^°""' of SIX Or eigfit years in which 
deZn? ^^.""'t^t'°" «"cises are the dominant 
element. Wherever that spirit has prevailed 
among what are considered the educated and cul- 
tured classes, where movements have become pos- 

suDno"rrnf°"' *"■ ^^^ -"'''"S " '"y ''"d enlisting the 
support of an unquestioning multitude, all the rest 
ueing willing to adopt a given course because their 

called enrl'"^' ^'J^''}^ «'="f""y fi"d that the so- 
called education and culture have been acquired in 
the daily prosecution of tasks calling for no effort 
beyond what was possible through a good memo,? 
and a capacity for imitation. THere are many WhI 
cZlV^'^Kr. themselves, because their coEe 
mental T.?h^"'^"\^^'^^^*'" P^°*« «'^""»" an^d 
^rn oufin ° '^vi ''"'^"Ptio'?- I^ we would 
s^and on T" ° ,^'t^"^*^ conviction, men who 
stand on principal because they are capable of 

on1f,'",^/r-:""PL"{."'^" ^f"" ^°"'d examine a case 
on Its merits and be governed accordingly in their 
sympathies and in their support, men who wi 1 be 
above personal considerations a^d local prefudices 
with 'w"' r™""'""' '"^" ^ho can be^reisoned 

Tn eierd,? ^^ ' ^"°^'"^ °^ '*"'^'" '^at call for 
an exercise of reason. 

and iZrl^'l":? '^'^'^''" '"'?° "P""^^ hoth French 
aee at whlh j/"""' '^"'9,''""^ school, before the 
the u,e!^f " °!vT'"^"'r '"PPOsed we attain to 

the use of reason. No doubt in the days of Cicero 
many children of six or seven years spoke both La Ci 
and Greek with equal readiness. Are we to give 
218 



PREPARATORY STUDIES 

seven or eight years in college to acquiring a facility 
which under other conditions children are in pos- 
session of before reaching the age of primary school 
entrance. I have met half-breeds in Western Can- 
ada who spoke English, French and Indian, all three 
without the least difficulty. They had never gone to 
school, but certainly with ordinary opportunities 
might have learned to read and write all three be- 
fore the age of fourteen or fifteen. Moreover, this 
could be accomplished by minds incapable of making 
any progress in algebra or logic. What would have 
hindered those people, mutatis mutandis, from read- 
ing and writing Latin with perfect ease at the age of 
fifteen? And this is more than we accomplish in 
eight years of Latin prose composition. 

Before passing to another topic I should like to 
propose the following subject for debate: "Re- 
solved that the time spent upon Latin and Greek in 
our preparatory institutions deprives their students 
of literary training." Our curriculum does little 
or nothing to familiarize them with, to arouse their 
interest in, to give them a taste for solid reading in 
their native tongue. It may be interposed in retort 
that a priest's life should not permit much time for 
such occupation. No one doubts, however, that 
from every point of view, practical or otherwise, a 
certain amount of solid reading is commendable and 
no one fails to see the desirability of so occupying 
some of the time which otherwise would be given to 
newspapers and magazines. Is not the first purpose 
of an education to elevate the student's taste in this 
direction, to familiarize him step by step with the 
best specimens that the language affords, and thus 
to make use of the most direct means to give him a 
lasting interest in works of this kind? That for a 
219 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

number of years his studies should have been sei 
pus, though confined to other departments of learn- 
mg, will not guarantee his attachment to the more 
serious works in English literature. On the con- 
trary, that he has been made to scorn delights and 
live laborious days amid his Latin and Greek text 
books will not of itself arouse a keen interest in any 
other form of literature. As an exemplification of 
this, how few priests from the Atlantic to the Pacific 
read Newman or Brownson, notwithstanding their 
ten or twelve years of drill in studies requiring ef- 
fort and application. Does this reflect upon their 
teachers? Why do they not read them? Clearly 
because they xvere not brought up to read them. If 
Newman and Brownson had been given a place in 
the curriculum on an equal footing with Cicero, 
Ca-sar, and Homer, would not the result be differ- 
ent? If some of the hours upon hours and days upon 
days and years upon years in which we thumbed over 
Latin dictionaries, and memorized rules of euphony, 
and tried to recite endless exceptions to the rules for 
gender, and railed against the tediousness of Latin 
prosody and the increments in a, i, and o, had been 
devoted not to a mere cursory reading, but to a real 
serious study under a teacher's guidance, of those 
great classics penned by Catholic authors, going 
through them section by section, and paragraph by 
paragraph with all the thoroughness we were made 
bring to bear upon the assigned thirty lines of Livy 
or Homer, does anyone doubt that Newman and 
Brownson would be intimate companions of many a 
pastor for the remainder of his days? There are 
laymen, lay Catholics, generally converts, who have 
never had the advantage of a college education and 

220 



PREPARATORY STUDIES 

who are constant readers of just such works as these, 
not because they are better students than it is our 
prmlege to form not because they are more highly 
gifted mtellectually, but simply because some circum- 
stance in earlier life or some associates turned their 
attentio/i to these works. There is yet much to 
■mprove in the course of English literature attempted 
Dy our colleges and preparatory seminaries. 

Old text books were a unit in defining English 
Grammar as The art of speaking and writing the 
tnglish language correctly," though in reality many 
a one has done both without giving any time to gram- 
mar studies. If nothing more than avoiding gram- 
matical mistakes were accomplished in the study of 

^nlT'jV ^f ^ '^"'''' '°""=' sufficient to point out 
all the difficulties, would complete this portion of a 
school program. The business world and social 
world afford many examples of people whose con- 
versat.on and correspondence satisfy all the require- 
ments of the strictest syntax; several of these never- 
theless never belonged to a class in grammar. The 
proper handling of this important branch of study 
undertakes something much higher and much more 
diHicult It IS altogether an analytic process. Its ex- 
ercises have to do not with the forms and inflections 
ot words, but with the intricacies of thought which 
through their relations and correlations these words 
express. To analyze or parse implies essentially an 
understanding of the meaning of the sentence, a 
thorough grasp of the thought which lies beneath it 
btudents who have been drilled for years in the 
grammatical analysis of sentences usually prove ca- 
pable of occupying themselves with what is abstruse 

221 



M 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

and subtle and are thus best prepared to enter upon 
the reading of literary treatises which are learned 
and profound. 

_ On the other hand nothing so marks the enervat- 
ing tendency of present-day school work as the dispo- 
sition to minimize the importance of grammatical 
analysis. As Cardinal Newman says, "The student 
who proclaims his disliki- lor the study of grammar 
has found another way of saying that he does not 
like work. This is one branch of study in which 
there is no royal road to success. Application alone 
brings resu ts and the college boy who gains results 
without It has indisputable evidence that his career 
IS other than one in which education is a requisite 
Admitting that a logi-al mind is the final test of 
ment; .levelopment, the summum bonum of the true 
sciob: we shall not fail to recognize that among 
all the branches of earlier study the one which most 
surely trains to logical accuracy is the grammar study 
ot our own English language. 

One further consideration here relative to the 
teaching of English. There are many congregations 
m the land which are present at the reading of the 
tpistle and Holy Gospel Sunday after Sunday and 
hear them not. It is not because the church is large 
or the reader's voice too weak. Nor is it lack of 
gooi disposition on the part of the flock. There is 
reading which commands the attention of an audi- 
ence and reading which commands it not. The latter 
is far from mcommon. Is it not quite possible that 
an accomplishment often acquired in the home circle 
by a child of twelve or fourteen should be in the 
possession of any boy at the end of six years in a 
preparatory seminary or college? Surely he whose 
profession will impose the lifelong task of public 

222 



PREPARATORY STUDIES 

.t..civca rrom uod has no attract vene«i (r,r , 
too great to bestow on the asoiran thh. ""= " 

Do we produce successful religious teachers !> o' ; 

of a class of one hundred ha4g the advantage of 

223 



SOME PASTOR'S PROBLEMS 

one year in a normal school ninety will do satisfac- 
tory work the first year of their engagement. 
Many of these have no special natural aptitude for 
the work; they are not looking to it as a lifetime oc 
pupation. Nevertheless a systematic training dur- 
mg that one normal school year does really fit them 
for the task. Why would not our Catholic colleges 
undertake to give every student within their walls 
a similar training for handling a Catechism class? 
Why would not every student within the wall of a 
preparatory college or seminary be turned out an 
expert m the art of teaching Christian doctrine ? 



THE fiND 



224 



fac- 
ent. 
for 
oc- 
iur- 
lem 
iges 
alls 
iss? 
>f a 
an